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Computer Science Department

An Academic-Content Encyclopedia Based on an Openly Editable Model

Syed Usamah

This project entails an academic encyclopedia based on Wikipedia's openly editable model. However, the content uploaded and shared must be of academic quality, i.e., from published books and peer reviewed journals. The difference between this site and those that exist already is that this project will give more credence to credibility/reliability rather than to the sheer volume of content that is usually un-academic. The encyclopedia will specifically be targeted towards existing academic knowledge, as there are many issues with current research being shared openly and freely on the internet (including corporate patents, and the willingness of scientists themselves, and so on).

The project will be completed using Ruby on Rails 3.1. I will create my own website, using a MySQL lite database, but will also borrow ideas from open-source wiki-websites, like Wagn and Instiki, that have already been developed using Rails.

The website will be divided in different content categories, with users being able to openly upload and edit content without authentication. However, part of the website will be implementation that will judge the credibility of the editor as an expert in the field of his edition. This will be done by having editors provide their college/university or research institution email, with a verification email being sent to that address for confirmation. Also, there will a way to recommend/++ any changes made to an article by any particular person, adding to his total score of credibility.