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Review papers

One of the most important things every researcher does in the beginning of his introduction to a topic is review process. Most helpful papers in this regard are review papers. Review papers are important. They are primary and best way to understand the value of a work for the societyto award and grant. They help researchers to find out needs of people who use our research and goal functions of scientific society. Help researchers to find out good topics and also good solutions. And the final effect of a research on the society.

But there is big problem in this good. Good review is too hard and time-consuming. One time the lack of enough resources was the problem of researchers, now the main problem for newcomers and evaluators is review papers are not complete! For example, imagine a researcher who likes to do something with Quantum Dots without background. Or find someone who did best thing in this regard without relying to citations or others. And sometimes don’t know special keywords and famous persons. If we search “QUANTUM DOT” in only 15000 papers have it in their TITLE! Then there is no way for a beginner to just read highly cited ones. Or those ones who have general Titles. Or those who written by highly cited one!.

By this way sometimes new and novel ideas will forget and the progress become slow. In the internet era there should be a way to solve such problems. I think WIKI-STYLE REVIEW PAPERS could be a solution. What is the advantage of wiki-pedia to GOOGLE? It offers more classified and organized version of information than Google does. If we see a review papers as a network of keywords and papers. I think there are more advanced ways to manage such network. More than what current Wikipedia offers. Wiki-style is first and easiest solution.


Mike Ciavarella's picture

ericmock's picture


I am interested in reading this article. Could you fix the link, please? Thank you!


ericmock's picture

The link above is fixed.

This whole discussion sounds exactly like what I proposed back last July to NSF and then again in October.  Neither proposal was funded but there is another solicitation coming up that I think is a better fit.  The previous two submission were for special NSF programs and it was not clear what kinds of 'research' would be funded.  Cyber-infrastructure turned out to be not a topic of interest. 

actually any topic in wikipedia is a dynamic review paper by itself

One way of  making such dynamic review papers is adding our papers to wikipedia. if wikipedia is too general in its present form.  we can make special topics and start to build this information tree from down to up. others will use this specific information in more general topics and finally they will be relate them in general ones. authors should like to contribute because in this way others can see their work and use them. 

Wikipedia has a rule that no original research is to be posted there.  However, Wikiversity can be used for that purpose (and possibly Wikisource). 

My own thoughts after exploring the wiki world for a while is that creating a brand is nontrivial.  Unless a mechanics wiki develops brand recognition it will continue to be a bit player in further developments.  But one has to start somewhere.

I've seen a lot of words on iMechanica but very little action.  Clearly, Zhigang does not have the time or the inclination to create another wiki based mechanics forum.  It's upto those of you who are throwing up new ideas to actually implement them and show us that they work. 

The only useful purpose that iMechanica serves for me is entertainment. As I, like Plato in his "Republic", "..keep holiday, like those lazy-minded men who are wont to feast themselves on their own thoughts when they are travelling alone."  Continuing Plato's quote, "Such men, you know, do not wait to discover the means of attaining the object of their desires.  They leave that question alone to save themselves the weariness of deliberating about what is practicable and what is not."

-- Biswajit 

Mike Ciavarella's picture

I have found the policy you refer to

However, I am doubtful that the meaning is really about research articles.

I think it rather concerns the problem of speculations, and unproven statements. But if one wanted to write a paper, are you sure it would be not accepted???


This includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, or arguments. Citing sources
and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate
that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable
sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented.

No original research (NOR) is one of three content policies. The others are neutral point of view (NPOV) and verifiability
(V). Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material
that is acceptable in articles. Because they complement each other,
they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and
editors should familiarize themselves with all three.

If you have questions about particular examples of OR, or you need
help because someone has accused you of posting OR, please see the No original research noticeboard (WP:NORN).



ericmock's picture

What people need to realize here is that wikis, blogs, and content management systems are very different things although they are all starting to gain features of one another (like the continued convergence of CAD and FEA software).  However, (like CAD and FEA software) they are focused on doing different things.

Wikis are terrible at organizing discussions.  Just click on the Discussion tab on any popular Wikipedia page.  Discussions are a very distant secondary functionality for a wiki.  Blogging software such as Drupal is designed to primarily for discussions.  Thus, Drupal was certainly the correct choice for iMechanica.

The wiki concept is great for collecting and tabulating knowledge.  That's not really what goes on here.  I obviously think wikis will play a huge role in the future of technical publishing (which is why I've put so much effort into it).  As I proposed to NSF, dynamic review articles are a great place to start (and useful to the community).  The problem is that MediaWiki is really not designed for technical publishing.  That's why I've been working on writing extensions that turn MediaWiki into an online LaTeX environment (sort of).  This is pretty close to finished.  However, there are tons of other issues involved.  Such as assigning credit and developing a good cataloging and indexing system.  Not to mention that many people use Word to write their papers and will want to fancy front-end on the system before they'll even think of using it.  Plus, an entire peer review system and 'acceptance' system needs to be set up.  None of this is that difficult to do, it's just time consuming.  And getting something working and making it user friendly and 'idiot proof' are completely different things.  My hope is to have a descent 'alpha-level' system up by the end of summer.  It will be functional but not feature complete, and certainly not bug free.

This is very brilliant idea and i like it if it dont be just related to Mechanics.

I had investigations on Citation system for about two years, and i found them very misleading!

anything else.

Everybody who likes to know what are major development in any area can read one of them to see, who are major contributors, they are not one-sided because they will be edited by public.

But success of such projects is very depend of number of investigators. It is very important to have contributors at start of the work.




Mike Ciavarella's picture

Biswajit & Eric


these 2 messages are to the point.  (this incidentally is a problem of blogs like imechanica, there is no filter, and very good messages get mixed with confused ones).

Some technical questions because I confess I am ignorant in this matter (and in many others)

1) can we try a WIKI section within imechanica, despite the latter is drupal?   Can a wiki engine run under a drupal general framework?

2) if so, can Eric "beta test" his latex-compiler for wiki within imechanica ?

Then, of course you can push forward your new attempts of funding.

ericmock's picture

Obviously the two systems can be integrated using hyperlink (but that's not really tight integration).  I'm not sure what you're thinking with this integration.  My vision which is more towards a publishing system with discussion threads for each publication, would essentially use Drupal for the discussion engine in MediaWiki.  Thus, instead of the Discussion tab in MediaWiki leading to a chaotic wiki-based discussion, it will lead to a Drupal discussion thread.  I'm not sure why one would want a wiki embedded in a Drupal discussion.  Although you could certainly add a link to a wiki article.  Now, not all discussions need to be about articles so I see a place for a Drupal-only site (i.e. iMechanica).

The nice thing about a wiki is that the 'front-facing' pages that most people see are nicely polished and have been refined.  You don't see the history and the junk that's been added and removed over time.  Although, if you click on the history tab of a popular Wikipedia page you'll be amazed at how many times the page has been revised.

There is always going to be a signal-to-noise issue.  That is why you need to have a good (and active) group of moderators.

One big problem with wikis is that changes are automatically accepted and posted.  People watching the page will be notified when this happens and can then check the change.  The page can easily be rolled back to the previous version.  However, in a publishing system you want it to work the other way:  a change is made but not published, the author is notified, if the author approves the change then the article is published with the modifications, if the author does not approve or does nothing then the published article is not updated.

ericmock's picture

Back when I was writing the first NSF proposal Biswajit gracefully donated a bunch of Metamaterial notes written in LaTeX and posted (in PDF) in iMechanica.  I converted them to my WikiTeX markup which took a few minutes for each page and posted them at

Note:  The equations will only look good on a Mac or with Safari on Windows.  Windows' native image scaling (used by IE and FF) sux. 

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Eric, are you saying your software is the ONLY one to write equations in Wiki-style? Then you should think of it as big value, before you embark into a NSF proposal.  Who will own the IPR? 

However, if I search

I find that "Displaying a formula is possible", and indeed MediaWiki Handbook: Contents, Readers, Editors, Moderators, System admins +/-

MediaWiki uses a subset of TeX markup, including some extensions from LaTeX and AMSLaTeX, for mathematical formulae. It generates either PNG images or simple HTML markup, depending on user preferences
and the complexity of the expression. In the future, as more browsers
are smarter, it will be able to generate enhanced HTML or even MathML in many cases. (See blahtex for information about current work on adding MathML support.)

More precisely, MediaWiki filters the markup through Texvc, which in turn passes the commands to TeX for the actual rendering. Thus, only a limited part of the full TeX language is supported; see below for details.

To have math rendered, you have to set $wgUseTeX = true; in LocalSettings.php.

So what is exactly your contribution? 

Incidentally, which technology uses ?


ericmock's picture

The page contents are simple dumps from MS Word (i.e. Save As... HTML).  You can tell by looking at the page source (and seeing the spaghetti code Word produces or the <meta name=Originator content="Microsoft Word 10"> tag). It looks like the menus basically use a standard library:

<!-- ULTIMATE DROP DOWN MENU Version 4.1 by Brothercake --><!-- -->

ericmock's picture


I am very familiar with all the wiki technologies.  You have been able to add basic equations for many years.  However, the typesetting in connection with the HTML is horrible (i.e. try to make a nice looking in-line equation).  One (of many) things I did was figure out how to set the baseline correct.  I've been waiting five years for MathML to get support in browsers and I've quit waiting.  Honestly, I think SVG will likely be what gets used for equations in the future.  But SVG support is still very spotty.  The <canvas> tag may also be useful as soon as MS includes it in IE.

Other added features: equation and figure numbering, automatically generated bibliographies, automatically updating cross-referencing.  Basically, things LaTeX users take for granted but are not included in MediaWiki.  Also, hover your mouse over an equation number.... 

ericmock's picture

If you log into the test site (see above for URL) you can now edit pages (and see the source) by logging in as (user: imechanica, pw: rox).  Dynamic equation generation seems to be broken (changing the equation source should automatically produce and cache a new equation graphic) and I don't have time now to track it down.

Mike Ciavarella's picture


when you have time, please respond more.  You don't need to do it today!


Mike Ciavarella's picture

Bijwait, again, I am not sure we cannot write original articles in Wikipedia!

PV of a Science of Nature editor
From Meta

Jump to: navigation, search

Wikipedians think that scientific articles on Wikipedia should be
written according to "Point of View of a Science or Nature editor", and
not strict "Neutral Point Of View". Both these points of view are
biased. PVSNE is biased towards science and facts; strict NPOV is biased towards political neutrality and political correctness.

Scientific articles make big portion of every encyclopedia. If "strict" rules of neutral point of view were followed, such articles would be very hard to use. Most people reading article Earth
don't care about people claiming it's flat, most people reading about
World War II don't care about it being punishment for sins of humanity
and most people reading article Evolution don't care about creationism, "humanity was created by aliens" and other non-scientific theories. Therefore strict NPOV must be limited if it conflicts with usability or facts.

Maybe controversial issues should have a front page listing the
pages that describe the different points of view that exist about them,
science being among them. Even within science there sometimes are
competing theories about certain phenomena.

So we could have: Origin of life theory

what do you think?

I think this POV has been discussed to death on talk:creationism
and that a strictly biased POV should not become wikipedia policy. I
for one would consider forking the pedia, to create an effort which
accommodates various POV, before I'd let this happen.

You might or might not know that the stated Wikipedia policy has been from the beginning the neutral point of view. I, and I imagine Jimbo
as well as most participants in Wikipedia, are no more seriously
considering changing this than we are changing the fact that this is an
encyclopedia. This is one of the constraints on a successful
international, collaborative encyclopedia.

We cannot reasonably expect people to follow a policy that they
don't understand, however, and this policy is really very easy to
misunderstand. It does not imply any controversial positions about
epistemology or metaphysics; it asks (to put it rather simply) that we
do our very best to represent competing points of views fairly, and
that we do not make the article espouse some "official Wikipedia view."
We "go meta" whenever there is any significant dispute, and describe
the dispute. Now, if you don't want to call what we ask "neutrality" or
"nonbias," then call it "schmeutrality" or whatever you like.

SNPOV is biased towards political neutrality and political correctness.

This is just false and represents a simple misunderstanding of what
the policy says. The only thing that the nonbias policy is biased in
favor of is the idea that it is possible to state competing views
fairly within the same article, within some very reasonable constraints
on what is to be considered fair.

If you want to get into a debate about the policy, it would be great
if you would give a concise summary of the arguments that have been
raised against the neutral point of view. I would be only too happy to
reply to help develop a draft and to develop replies. I am firmly
persuaded that very many objections to a nonbias policy stem from a
failure to understand it properly. I'm looking for something similar to
what was done on Wikipedia subpages pros and cons. --LMS

See also : Wikipedia commentary


Mike Ciavarella's picture

Main Page
From Academic Publishing Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Hello, and welcome to the Academic Publishing Wiki! This
project is meant to give people with original ideas a means of
obtaining peer review and constructive criticism, and also to publish
these ideas in wiki format for the free use and benefit of others.
Works can first be placed in wiki format as an initial draft and marked for inclusion in the critical peer review process. With successful passage through this stage, the article can then be included in an academic journal fitting of it. Questions? FAQ | Wiki publishing

The Academic Publishing Wiki is very new and needs your help. See Current events for existing projects and add more. You can take a short guided tour of this wiki.

Active Journals

Journals can relate to any academic field, and are not limited to
the following. Please feel free to add more as you feel is appropriate.
Full list of journals. Instructions for starting a new journal.
On this wiki:

On other Wikia sites:

Policy and suggestions

  • There is no "neutral point of view" policy here. However, keep
    in mind that a reasonable argument is more effective, and that a
    stronger point of view may both appear less professional and alienate
    some readers.
  • It is strongly recommended that you provide a proper bibliography, and use footnotes to reference quotes. An available system for references.
  • Keep in mind that any work posted here is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Do not plagiarize.

Getting started: rough drafts

  1. Read the Author guidelines.
  2. Create a wiki page for your new article. Create Links and Pages
  3. Add the preliminary draft template to your article. Using templates
  4. Add the content of your article to the wiki page you created for your article. Need help with wiki?

NOTE: You can browse the articles that are currently in the preliminary drafts category.

Peer Review

You can browse articles that are currently available for peer review. Note: some wiki journals do not list their articles in this generic list of peer review targets.

Retrieved from ""


Mike Ciavarella's picture

Maybe the wiki experiment for imechanica could be within wikia?

i have found a very nice book about Proteomics in Wiki-books, it
has many visitors and it is first one when you search  "proteomics + drug discovery" in Google!


I think BOOK CHAPTERS are just like review

 I dont like to change the world revolutionary, i prefer
to help the people to change it evolutionary!.

 I think there are already systems for wiki-publishing, there is
no need to to build a new extra one.  Only thing we should do is to
absorb more people to a ONE UNITED wiki-system and start the work as soon as possible. and prevent to work on different
systems. it contradict with strategy of success of wikipedia.

I am going to start a new book about "PROTEIN ENGINEERING" in
wikipedia, despite my poor english. I hope others in that field help me .

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Why Publish in PLoS ONE?

Not yet in engineering but..... 

PLOS ONE is very famous!. number of these systems are too much and i think they need even some sort of unification!. if you like Wiki-Research papers, have you any strict idea about share of each author in profits of wiki-research papers. my idea is only wiki-review papers which authors put description of their own papers in them, the profit is introducting paper to public. (some sort of advertising).

Mike Ciavarella's picture

A subject on which not many of us are working, so that it would be good to start a wiki review as it has potentially high impact and huge market is:


Viagra and Mechanics --- Watermelon May Have Viagra-effect

Keeping publications closed and expensive may have severe implications.  See the following paper:

Excluding the poor from accessing biomedical literature: A rights
violation that impedes global health
by Gavin Yamey

Researchers in mechanics can afford not to care about such issues because of the limited impact (factor?) of the field.  But can other, more important, fields of study?

-- Biswajit 

 I have worked as a researchers in thirld world for 4 years!.

may be my country was a little richer than south africa!

although accessiblity to papers may be one problem in thirld world. papers are accessible finally with hardship. 

Disperse work is main problem of working in third world. many people work in third world. but it is not possible to fight many problems like diseases personally, this needs harmony between many researchers.there is a need for having a network to find out what others has done and what is needed.more easily than what is already exists. i know it is possible with good review. but good review is expensive and time consuming. many people have to publish many papers to survive!. same idea "dynamic review papers" can help them also. to find out what has done, and what is needed now.


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