I’m a bit behind in reading my news@nature feeds, & just came across this one, from mid-March: Reference revolution, an interview with Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame.

Q: Do you think these flexible reference tools will overtake fixed sources of information?

A: Definitely. But I think it’s going to vary across different domains. For example, an open Wiki-editing model, in my opinion, cannot replace peer-reviewed scientific research. If it’s really open you don’t have the necessary quality control from experts.

The article also mentions the Wikispecies project. Wikispecies gets a mention in this other Nature article: Species list reaches half-million mark

An online catalogue of all known life on Earth now has half a million species in its freely available database.

The database is the Catalogue of Life Programme.

For each known species, the catalogue lists its different names, along with details of where it is found, the names of relevant experts, and links to other online resources.

Now that is the mother of all authority control problems.