Most readers of virology blog are no doubt familiar with a wiki – “a page or collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language” (definition courtesy of the well-known Wikipedia, the free encylopedia). A wiki is a great way to collect information and resources in a collaborative way. I have decided to add a wiki about viruses here on virology blog. It’s called VirologyWiki, and can be found at wiki.virology.ws or just by clicking the appropriate tab at the top of this blog.
There are certainly a good number of virus wikis on the web, and of course Wikipedia has many virus entries. So why do I want to start another wiki on viruses? Currently the information on viruses contained in wikis is scattered in too many locations. It is my goal to have a comprehensive – dare I say encyclopedic? – resource of information on viruses at one site. Users will contribute information on virus structure, replication, pathogenesis, history, current news, web resources – anything that could be of use to the casual reader, the student writing a paper, or even a postdoc seeking background information. It seems reasonable to have such a wiki associated with a blog about viruses and viral disease.
Clearly wikis are not perfect; the huge Wikipedia is plagued with incidents of vandalism and accusations of inaccuracy. This may be one reason to move to smaller, focused wikis. So I’m viewing this as an experiment, but I have high hopes. Please visit VirologyWiki, create an account, and start posting. At the moment it’s only a framework, so dig in!