Is anyone aware of a multi-site rep system?
We've seen how powerful "rep point" systems can be for encouraging community-driven altruistic contribution to open resources. Obvious examples are Biostar and various stack exchanges. Even Github in some way encourages committing code to public repos by providing nice summaries and visualizations of your contributions to various projects. That can also be a way to demonstrate rep. Of course, github is so intrinsically useful to the submitter that its not as much of an issue. Is there something comparable at wikipedia? Its not clear to me what the incentive for editing a wikipedia article is. But, I think there is a clear relationship between community size and amount of incentive needed to promote contribution. Wikipedia is used by the whole world and as such is more likely to benefit from the rare obsessives who help us all out by summarizing every star trek episode. Creating content on Biostar can sometimes be a high-cost, low-value enterprise. But it seems to have just enough momentum to keep growing. I do believe badges and rep points are one factor that keeps people coming back.
Now, suppose that I am launching a bioinformatics resource and hoping to benefit from some amount of crowd-sourcing. My resource is likely going to be too specialized to have an audience large enough where a rep point system would work. So, does it make sense to have a universal/common BioRep system that could be used across different resources? Validating/curating data in my specific resource would be just one way to get such points. Answering biostar/seqanswers questions, editing gene wikis, etc would be others. This would act as a common digital currency for academic contributions. Almost like bitcoins that accumulate by “intellectual mining” in various ways. They should not be totally universal. You might want to subdivide according to field/domain (e.g., Bio, Chem, etc). Given how many different web communities use some concept of rep I’m surprised this doesn’t exist yet.