The biomedical literature is massive. There are over 20 million articles indexed in PubMed, and that number is growing by over 900,000 articles per year.
Making use of the knowledge represented by the biomedical literature is a daunting task. For example, searching PubMed for articles related to a single gene can often return thousands or tens of thousands of matching articles. Reading all these articles to understand that gene’s function is not a feasible task.
…a continuously-updated, collaboratively-written, and community-reviewed review article for every gene in the human genome.
Increasingly, the biological community describes findings of gene function in terms of structured ontologies, most popularly the Gene Ontology (GO). Combing the literature for gene-GO annotations is typically accomplished through the manual efforts of professional curator teams. Although these biocurators are highly skilled and efficient in their efforts, their cumulative output simply does not scale with the explosive growth in the biomedical literature.
We developed a complementary approach for summarizing the biomedical literature based on the principle of community intelligence. The Gene Wiki project empowers all scientists to collaboratively summarize our knowledge of gene function. Our goal is to create a continuously-updated, collaboratively-written, and community-reviewed review article for every gene in the human genome. These “living manuscripts” are found within the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
By engaging the entire community of scientists, the Gene Wiki effectively scales with our ability to generate data and publish knowledge. Each month, the Gene Wiki is viewed over four million times and edited thousands of times. More information can be found at the Gene Wiki Portal and on our blog.