David Szpunar: Lead Engineer, PC Help Services

David's Church Information Technology

April 27th, 2008 at 3:36 am Print This Post Print This Post

If you don’t want to hear from people, just say so

OK so this is a little nitpicky, but it’s got me slightly annoyed with Scholarpedia because they don’t appear to publish any contact information. Here’s how I got there in the first place (why do I tell you? To confuse you, of course!): Through a chain I won’t make you follow (and probably couldn’t recall), I ended up at Mark Jaquith’s Twitter page (he’s a core developer for WordPress if you were unaware). I ended up clicking on the link in his then-newest update to his own blog’s contact info (he was linking there for a guy named Jeffro (Jeff Eaton) (I made a mistake in my original post and thought this was Jeffro2pt0, but I was incorrect; apologies!). “Hey, why not check out Mark’s blog while I’m 95% of the way there?” methinks. Latest post is titled How I visualize the months of the year and I click through to see the comment by Austin Matzko (aka filosofo) (Most of these are guys who develop WordPress or Plugins for WordPress).

Austin, in his comment, links to an article in Scholoarpedia on Synesthesia which I begin to read and find rather interesting. However, as I get down to the “Top down and contextual effects” portion of the article, I notice that there’s a sentence with a typo in it, specifically “The second experiment (6) used an ambiguous grapheme (‘A’ or ‘H’) embedded either in between ‘T’ and ‘E’ (as in ‘THE’) or between ‘C’ and ‘A’ (‘CAT’).” If you notice, at the end there, the ambiguous grapheme as an ‘A’ really is between ‘C’ and ‘T’, not between ‘C’ and ‘A’ as the sentence states (this makes more sense looking at the image provided in the article to illustrate).

Now, I was feeling generous and figured, hey, why not mention this to someone at the site so they can fix it? Actually, my first thought, being linked into the middle of the article, was “I already have a Wikipedia account, I’ll just fix this for them real quick.” Of course, they use the same MediaWiki software and default theme (hence the confusion, especially when linked to an anchor within an article), but Scholarpedia is not actually Wikipedia, as I quickly infer (and I haven’t had a scientific paper with a model named after me published with over 250 hits in Google–yet, if ever–so I can’t create an account). No problem, I’m sure there’s a contact form around. Nope. I can’t find one, anywhere on the site. Well, I just noticed the only email address I’ve run across on the site, suggestions @ scholarpedia.org, hidden away on the detailed requirements for authors page. No useful information on the About page, or the Help page. Oh wait, on the Instructions for authors page, it does have a random other email address, for a specific person. But they seem pretty much of the opinion that if you aren’t a famous scientist, you have no need to contact them about anything. Ironically, their Copyright page even says to “Contact Scholarpedia for copyright details.” Without mentioning a way to do so.

Oh well, maybe I’ll grab those two random email addresses I found and send them a quick note. If I get around to it; they can certainly find it here if they bother to look. I guess sometimes it takes is someone who graduated high school after being homeschooled to find the errors the super-genius scientists miss… ;-)

Thus ends this rant. Thanks, I feel better now. School 100% complete for the semester as of a very short time ago, so I’m quite happy to work the hot-air typing muscles for a few before getting to bed later than I should, again (but the exam got completed and submitted!).