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2017-04-12 PLOS Genetics published a blog post announcing that the Topic Pages model is being expanded to cover topics in genetics.
2017-01-19 The site is newly updated! Most notably, the Visual Editor is now enabled for easier editing. Pubmed citations should be considerably faster too, and equations might look better if your browser supports MathML.
2016-07-22 Ancestral reconstruction was published on July 12! Congrats to Jeffrey, Richard, Rosemary, T. Nguyen, and Art for their hard work! Also congrats to Natalia, Szymon, and Jacek for Hypercycle back in April [1]. Sorry for the lack of announcement!

Finished your topic page? Starting a new one? Celebrate by adding a news item!

This is the PLOS wiki. It is in place to allow drafting of Topic Page review articles for PLOS Computational Biology and PLOS Genetics in an editing environment close to that of Wikipedia.

Topic Pages are broad review articles that are are dual-published both in the journal as a citable copy of record, and into Wikipedia to seed a new Wikipedia page which acts as a living document (see introductory editorial[1] and blog post[2] as well as a more recent case study[3] and PLOS Topic Pages collection[4]).


Wikipedia is consistently one of the world's most-read websites, and the top hit for most web search queries. Ensuring its content is accurate and up to date is consequently an important route for public engagement. Topic Pages combine the rigour of academic peer review, and the extreme reach of Wikipedia.


Topic Pages are the work of the respective authors, they are subject to change, and if published they will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License at PLOS Computational Biology or PLOS Genetics. Content is published in PLOS under a CC-BY license (2.5 or later), and then published in Wikipedia under the more restrictive CC-BY-SA license. Note that the more restrictive license in Wikipedia means that content can be moved from this site to Wikipedia, but not the other way.


Feel free to contact any of the involved editors:

Newly created accounts will see spam-protection measures. These should disappear after your account is approved by the moderators.

Getting started

Authors of Topic pages should first read the Author Guide for information about the format and submission process. Once you have an account and ready to start drafting, just create a new page. You may want to start with the Topic Page Template. Examples of published Topic Pages are collected in Category:PLOS Computational Biology articles.

PLoSWiki runs on top of MediaWiki, with the result that most things work just like wikipedia. Therefore, the first places to look for tips on editing, syntax, etc. is are the mediawiki and wikipedia help pages.

Important Differences from Wikipedia

  • Links to wikipedia. PLoSWiki is not intended to have comprehensive content, so links to wikipedia are encouraged. Just prefix your link with 'wp:'. For instance, [[wp:Ochre Sea Star|Ochre Sea Star]] renders to Ochre Sea Star. Links to other wikis will always display in blue, even if the destination pages do not exist. Be sure to check your links!
  • Templates. PLoSWiki does not support most Wikipedia templates. Simple templates can be transcluded from wikipedia to a local page and then used in PLoSWiki (as done for Template:PDB, for instance), but this doesn't work well for complex templates. We're working on solutions to this. For now, post requests for wikipedia templates in the Discussion page for this article.
  • References. Wikipedia uses the {{cite}} template for references. PLoSWiki does not support this template, and uses <ref>...</ref> tags instead. These can be easily combined with Pubmed IDs to have easy consistent references. See PLoSWiki:Citing Sources for more examples.
  • Figure hooks. PLoS articles are encouraged to include in-text hooks to every figure (eg 'see figure 1'). See these examples for a wiki-compatible way of referencing figures and tables.
  • License. This wiki uses the CC-BY license, while wikipedia uses the more restrictive CC-BY-SA license. This means that PLOS content can be used on wikipedia but not vice versa.


  1. ^ Wodak SJ, Mietchen D, Collings AM, Russell RB, Bourne PE (2012) Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia. PLoS Comput Biol 8(3): e1002446. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446
  2. ^ Rosemary Dickin (2012) Bridging the Journal-Wikipedia gap
  3. ^ Martin Poulter (2014) Publishing scholarly papers with, and on, Wikipedia (a case study)
  4. ^ PLOS Topic Pages Collection