Masticationpedia uses MediaWiki, a software created for the most important of online collaborative projects for content creation and distribution, Wikipedia. Wikipedia and other wikis have now entered our everyday lives, they are (fortunately) tools with which we are all familiar today. But there are several differences between Masticationpedia and the other wikis, sensitive differences that are worth dwelling on before starting the interaction with this platform.
The most important difference is certainly that in Masticationpedia not everyone can write. Editing in Masticationpedia is not open to any passer-by.
Masticationpedia produces specialized scientific contents, these contents are screened by our scientific community and the experiential quality of the source makes a difference, as it does throughout the whole system of production of professional specialist knowledge.
Of course, the experience of collaborative projects, certainly first of all Wikipedia, is itself a phenomenologically very important datum, of which we have full (and grateful) notion: in that encyclopedia it was the possibility of unconditional interaction with the Project that made it (in such a relatively short time) the phenomenon of editorial success that we know - as well as a point of no return for gnoseological evolution). We know it, we very clearly have it in mind. In fact, anyone can access and edit the discussion pages of any page published on Masticationpedia. Anyone can tell us that "the King is naked", if appropriate, and anyone can offer his studies as long as they are reasonably compatible with the purposes of the site and presented in the appropriate ways. In the discussion pages ("talk pages"), which are in fact open. Only registration and confirmation of the reference e-mail are required.
The content pages, instead, are reserved for authors, and cannot be edited "on the fly". They could be modified, they are not carved on stone, but the changes would be checked before publication, as if they were new pages.
If you are a Professional or a scholar, if you have a pertinent competence and wish to collaborate in the construction of new knowledge in the sectors of our interest, please contact us: Masticationpedia wishes to interact with anyone bringing us scientific concepts to share, and hopes to be able to increase knowledge through this very special path.
While one of the most precious values brought by Wikipedia to knowledge is the neutral reporting of information, in which the data are shown without endorsing or rejecting them, attributing (and therefore redirecting) the relative assessments to the sources, in Masticationpedia it would be extremely difficult to affirm that there are possibilities to remain neutral in presenting content that is born in the heart of scientific research: Masticationpedia has for its own purpose the production of new content, not [yet] historicized in generalist visions, and could rather, by its very nature, favour the proposition of innovations which, as such, do not have to be neutral (nor could be), but orthodox according to the scientific method, which is a completely different matter.
The contents of Masticationpedia therefore contain appraisals and valuations, and apparently comments and opinions too, and it is perfectly normal (here) that it is so. We are not reporting the general outcome of our Discipline, we are interacting with it, on it. For it, of course.
Effects of communitarian consensus
All collaborative projects live on the liveliness of the communities that develop in them. Masticationpedia is no exception: here too there is a (still small) community of contributors discussing the project choices. However, since the scientific method is the only beacon that must guide us, in Masticationpedia the Community does not have the sovereign powers it can have elsewhere, and if one day the Community decided for instance to make the Project state that the Earth is flat, that consensus would be incinerated by the scientific method, by which that hypothesis proves wrong.
The Community cannot intervene on the contents except in the sense of verification, control, refinement, improvement, growth (and removal of any errors, of course), according to the scientific method.
At least in the start-up phase, the Community has no competence at all on the management of users, whose assessment is up to the Masticationpedia Charity, by now exclusively, as the faculty to interrupt its activity is, as well, for many legal and technical reasons. Masticationpedia is a private site, the possibilities for collaborative access offered to the public are limited by reasonable utility requirements in the sole perspective of the pursuit of the constitutive purposes, excluding any and all other and different purposes.
Masticationpedia respects the right of expression and freedom of speech, but this site has a very specific purpose and is not to allow dialectical spaces, but rather to build specialized scientific knowledge.