Talk:Current Issues I see in this wiki (PsychonautWiki)

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New articles do not get approved. Edits to existing articles can take weeks to get approved, see the sheer number of pending edits as of writing this. In my opinion, this delay discourages edits and is slowly killing the wiki. Even the most thoughtful contributions can originate from the desire to lightly touch-up an article. Each casual reader has the potential to become an invested editor down-the-line, but the reader is unlikely to build that investment if their changes aren't impactful, if he or she knows it'll takes an unknown amount of time for the change to be approved.

So what great benefit does this overbearing approval system have, that justifies the above? I can think of temporary distortions to the content of the wiki, whether by vandalism or well-intentioned edits that push incorrect information. And yet, many wikis of comparable size to this one and Wikipedia do just fine, excel, without major vandalism problems. I regularly keep an eye on Special:RecentChanges, and I haven't seen one instance of vandalism, although I've seen instances of bad grammar, but they were always amended shortly after. Maybe I'm wrong, and the moderator approval system is an unsung hero, a great dam barring hundreds of megabytes of potential vandalism from reaching the sight of everyone down the river, but we should assess if this really is true, for the dam stifles the flow of edits and discourages editors of wondering about making new ones.

My suggestion

  1. Most urgently, let new articles be immediately visible after creation because many of them never get approved. Here is a list of new articles waiting approval.[1] Some of them aren't even new anymore, having been invisible for months by now. This change needn't hesitation: If a bad new article is created, the harm is contained because readers who could be misled can only access the bad article through a link in an existing article, and edits to existing articles are under the watchful eyes of many editors, who would shortly flag the linking edit and the bad new article. Regarding the concern of articles in development spreading incomplete and/or incorrect information, simply mark the article with Template:Stub, as is standard in other wikis. Page stubs shouldn't have to be in the Talk: namespace to be visible, what if editors want to discuss the development of a stub? It's a gross misuse of the namespace.
  2. Do away with required approval of edits to existing articles. With a caveat: PsychonautWiki bears the responsibility of consistently accurate information moreso than the average wiki because many readers rely on dosage tables. So to prevent disasters, it's a good idea to keep the approval system for all Template:SubstanceBox pages, which is where the dosage table exists.[2]


  • History and culture is the first section in all articles about substances, for no apparent reason. The History and Culture section could be neatly snugged alongside Legal status section near the bottom of the article, and the structure of the article could be more cohesive as a result. PsychonautWiki should not make its priority to compete with Wikipedia at what its legions of editors and strict rules do best. Not even Wikipedia in its encyclopedic might places History sections a the top of substance articles as a rule. I cannot speak for everyone, but the History and culture section is likely just something to scroll past for the average PsychonautWiki visitor. Psychonautics is in the name after all.
  • Tries too hard to be impartial and encyclopedic about drugs' subjective effects, forcefully against the fact that by definition, effects are anything but objective. This rings all the more so in the realm of research chemicals, of which there are no reputable citations of the effects. To improve the Subjective Effects section I suggest inspiration to be taken from the first Wiki website, the one that inspired all the others. WikiWikiWeb was created by Ward Cunningham to discuss programming ideas, where rather than having an encyclopedic tone choking discussion, each "WikiPage" worked alike a shared collaborative document, where users debated and extended on each others opinions.[3] I believe this style would be a benefit to Subjective Effects sections in PsychonautWiki. This doesn't mean descriptions of subjective effects shouldn't be held to the same quality standards, the change is just to embrace of what the section was all along, personal opinions with an unnecessary syntactic facade of objectivity.[4]


  1. It's cluttered with redirect pages, but it's the only way of seeing unnaproved new pages I know. This list of any new pages is also useful.
  2. Example of a dosage table just so it's clear what I'm talking about: Template:SubstanceBox/LSD
  3. See Wiki is not Wikipedia, WikiNature
  4. I want to make clear these suggestions are directed only to the Subjective Effects sections, the encyclopedic tone in the rest of Psychonautwiki works great.