The Roundup: Sharing science

Though Wikipedia’s content in the science is often well-represented, it isn’t always well-presented. Many articles could benefit from smoother, more accessible writing, or through illustrations that make the concept visually clear.

In Dr. Kermit Murray’s Mass Spectrometry course, students at Louisiana State University contributed information about that analytical chemistry technique to Wikipedia. Students are typically advanced undergraduates, graduate students, or doctoral candidates in chemistry. Their work has resulted in making some of these concepts easier for readers with an active interest in the topic to understand, whether through crafting simpler prose, adding relevant diagrams, or creating new diagrams when nothing else did the trick.

Student editors made the Fragmentation (Mass Spectrometry) article more accessible not only by adding clearer prose, but by creating four new illustrations of chemical structures.

For the Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry article, students improved the clarity of the text while expanding it from 111 to 927 words — and adding four original illustrations.

In the article on Spark Ionization, student editors expanded what had been a brief stub from 135 to 785 words. They also added a historical outline of the technology.

Finally, for the Protein Mass Spectrometry article, students editors added a section on the history of the technology that drew from six sources. They also added a schematic that depicts how the process works.

Thanks to Dr. Murray and his students for contributing to a better understanding of science topics through Wikipedia!


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