About WikiFindings

Welcome! Wikifindings is a dynamic repository of lay summaries of research articles.

If you are a researcher wanting to contribute please create an account.

If you are just curious, read on.

What is Wikifindings?

The scientific, humanities and arts research literature is difficult for non-researchers to follow because it is written in specialist language and because most articles are expensive to access.

The inaccessibility of research to those who might use it hinders the application of new knowledge in businesses, policy-making, social work, conservation, agriculture and other fields.

WikiFindings will solve this problem by providing an online Wiki – created by researchers - consisting of short summaries of new research articles.

The summaries are around 300 words and written in Plain English. The summaries are linked together using keywords, important preceding findings, and links in the text allowing the user to learn about a topic in an intuitive way.

WikiFindings will therefore fill in the gaps left by the traditional press and online research journalism websites who report only sensational or contrary studies and do not allow the user to easily delve deeper in to the research.

The great advantage of using a wiki is that the site is edited by many people who will correct one other’s mistakes, tone down extravagant claims, and develop the connectedness between findings.

Practioners will therefore be able to have immediate access to research findings, avoiding the current time lag between discoveries and the application of these discoveries.

The two-way communication will also enable research collaborations between researchers and practitioners, including sharing of resources and knowledge.

The general public is more able to learn about and even participate in research.

How is it different to existing websites?

Contributing to WikiFindings

WikiFindings is intended to enable scientists to communicate their findings to the general public.

Although it is impractical to control who edits WikiFindings, the intention is that the lead authors of articles published in a research journal provide a summary, written for anyone to understand.

Articles should follow the Plain English Guide.

A form is provided for the format of articles in which the summary is divided in to Background, Findings, and Implications.

WikiFindings entries are written for everyone to understand, but they are not press releases. That is, they should not appear as though written by a journalist and should not contain ‘quotes’ from the authors. The first person active voice is preferable.

WikiFindings is designed to be easily navigable, such that a casual reader can learn about the forefront of research on a topic by following links from one articles to the next. To this end, in addition to the main summary each entry must be accompanied by the list of all authors of the study, the subject, and a list of keywords.

Contributors are also encouraged to provide a list of other entries on WikiFindings that influenced, or were influenced by, the current work.

Structure of Wikifinding Entries

The summary consists of Background, Findings, and Implications.

Each should not exceed 150 words but be as short as possible whilst covering the important points. Authors should also provide in-text links to relevant keywords.