# Anyone contribute to Wikipedia?

1. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

Hi,

I've never contributed to Wikipedia and am thinking about editing an existing article. Do I just create an account and begin changing some other guy's stuff? Not sure how that works. Suppose there is an existing section which I feel is irrelevant and I wish to delete it and add other sections? Won't he be kinda' mad? Are my edits immediately visible on the web or does it go through a vetting process? Anybody got experience in this?

2. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

I have edited quite a bit.
A few points:
1. Unreferenced claims can be removed, or given an appropriate warning flag.
2. If you wish to introduce major improvements that would involve major deletions of previous sections, you may open a discussion on this on the article's associated Talk Page.
3. All your editing history is visible.
4. No, there is no prior vetting process

3. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

What exactly is an unreferenced claim? I wish to introduce things which likely have never been seen before.

Oh Jesus, they'll just bicker with me won't they? But I suppose that is the polite thing to do. And suppose after the discussion, I still feel the existing section is completely irrelevant and feel my changes would be much more enlightening. Do I still make the changes or would I be prevented from doing so?

I still have work to do on the subject matter so won't be attempting the changes for some time.

4. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

" I wish to introduce things which likely have never been seen before."
Original research is forbidden.

5. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

"And suppose after the discussion, I still feel the existing section is completely irrelevant and feel my changes would be much more enlightening. "
Then do it, pose your arguments clearly, and if it evolves in an edit war, some administrator will get involved.

Remember to put pages you want to watch closely on your Watch List, where you will be automatically notified whenever an edit has happened.

6. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

Well, I wouldn't call it original research. Rather it's just an elucidation of existing material presented in a new way that is more easily understood, or to be frank, just understood because what's on their now is completely incomprehensible except for those that already know it thus rendering the entire page as currently written, woefully inadequate in regards to a teaching tool.

Has to be done Arildno and I appear to be uniquely qualified to do so.

7. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

Ok thanks. I'll plan for that then: Present the argument on the talk page clearly and hope they agree to it. That certainly is the professional thing to do.

Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2013
8. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

Well, do so then!

9. Nov 9, 2013

### Pythagorean

That's basically the story of mathematics on Wikipedia. You'd need to take a proofs course, some real analysis, and maybe some abstract algebra to understand a lot of it. Good to see experts that want to contribute and are aware of the concept of pedagogy.

10. Nov 9, 2013

### DennisN

I have edited quite a bit too but I haven't been active there since 2008.
And I second all arildno said.

Some good intro links:

11. Nov 9, 2013

### AlephZero

I suspect most "experts who have a concept of pedagogy" also have lives, which is why Wikipedia is the way it is. Too much of the math stuff looks like it was written by students copying course notes they didn't understand.

Having spent some time (years, not months) working on an in-company "wiki" where at least there were some real sanctions against trouble-makers or those who were just ill-informed (i.e. email their manager!) I can't imagine why any sane person would want to do it for free and without any real powers against people whose spare time / subject knowledge ratio tends to infinity - or the style police who will argue for weeks about punctuation, etc.

12. Nov 9, 2013

### Pythagorean

In my short experience, I did it because I was an enthusiastic grad student and that's what I did for a break. The style police never bothered me, they just fixed my article for me without saying a word (which I appreciated) and vandalism never happened with my subject except for when it was an automated attack and an automated wikibot just rolled it back.

I haven't wanted to spend my free time doing that for years now, though. My technical writing juju all goes into my own research now.

13. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

Maybe I'm insane, then!

Or, I might pick my topics carefully.

14. Nov 9, 2013

### UltrafastPED

I occasionally make contributions - mostly correcting errors, or providing clarifications in technical or historical articles. I always read the talk/discussion section first.

BTW, what article do you intend to improve? Maybe we should all pitch in!

15. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

I wouldn't mind if you guys helped. I need to do some more analytical work on it first as I still do not have a good understanding of the principle but maybe you guys could help with that. Before I say what it is, I'm curious, have any of you guys seen the plot below? I think I am the first to ever plot it like this and it is analytically precise. It's beautiful isn't it? I left out some of the covering to un-clutter it but the static image is still a little cluttered.

#### Attached Files:

• ###### fig1.jpg
File size:
56.2 KB
Views:
190
16. Nov 9, 2013

### SteamKing

Staff Emeritus
That's all very nice, but you miss the essential point: What is it?

17. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

That's precisely the point SteamKing: Every reference I looked up about the matter said the same incomprehensible thing, like they all just copied the text and I suspect it's because it's not well understood. And that is what I wish to remedy by updating the Wikipedia article about it.

I would like to leave it undescribed for just a while to see if anyone reading this can tell me what it is. Sides, I think Arildno is much better at math than me so if he can't tell me, then I guess I'll like that a little. :)

18. Nov 9, 2013

### arildno

I have no idea what that is.
But this sounds suspiciously like you are falling into Original Research trap, jackmell.

Precisely because ANYONE can be editor at Wikipedia, it follows that the editor himself is DISQUALIFIED from being an authority (even though he is correct, or even a recognized expert in the field in his private life). That is a MAJOR structural difference between a(n ideal) Wikipedia article, and standard encylopedic article, or peer-reviewed research article.
---------------------------------------------------------
Now, that's the ideal principle behind the O.R. ban, it might be somewhat slackened in tight, rigorous logic in maths topics, but that is a field I actively avoid editing.

Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
19. Nov 9, 2013

### jackmell

You're no fun Arildno. It's a pochhammer contour, $P$, over the real component of the function $w=z^{1/2}(1-z)^{1/3}$ (minus a few sheets to improve clarity)corresponding to $\beta(3/2,4/3)$ but most people just looking up that topic in Wikipedia will not understand what's going on, not to mention the equation:

$$(1-e^{2\pi i\alpha})(1-e^{2\pi i\beta}) \beta(\alpha,\beta)=\int_P z^{\alpha-1}(1-z)^{\beta-1}dz$$

does not describe the algebraic-geometry sufficiently to use it in practice.

:)

Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
20. Nov 9, 2013

### jgens

Glancing through the article on the Pochhammer Contour it seems reasonably well-written and on-point. So what exactly do you think should be improved?

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