Wikis have hit IUPAC!

Just saw an announcement on the frontpage of the IUPAC website, that they have finally discovered wikis. Kermit Murray and his colleague have used them as a collaborative tool to develop standard definitions of terms relating to mass spectroscopy. You can look at the project wiki here and the link to the paper is here.

For those of you who don’t know what wikis are: the name comes from the Hawaiian word ‘wiki-wiki’, which apparently means “quick.” Wikis combine the processes of editing and viewing a website. Website content is stored in a database on a webserver and the actual webpage is generated (using PHP) on the fly as the page is requested, using content in the database. Changes are also stored in the database, which means they can be tracked and undone, if necessary.

Because of their eas of use, wikis are an interesting an efficient collaborative tools, and can be used for communal paper writing to lab-journaling and, of course, knowledge sharing (see Wikipedia itself). I know of at least one VERY VERY (hint) large chemical company that is using wikis for this purpose in house.

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