User:Benjamin Mako Hill

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Benjamin Mako Hill
Name Benjamin Mako Hill
Location Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

About Me

I have more webpages than I can reasonably count and my current policy to to try to not aggravate this problem so I'm going to be brief. I have many webpages where I talk a lot about myself, my projects, and other things that I do. If you are interested in this, you can read any of the pages linked below:


Readings summaries can take time. As a result, I write summaries of my summaries over at the microblogging site None are longer than 140 characters!

At the moment, I think the best way to help AcaWiki is to help seed it with content so that scholars may spend time here and start contributing. As a result, I spend almost all of my time on AcaWiki writing summaries of academic articles and books

You can find my summaries here:

Many of these summaries are rough. I tend to write them once, fix obvious spelling mistakes, and then publish them. I do not, in most cases, even reread my summaries before posting them. As a result, the text is likely to be flawed in a number of ways. Please keep that in mind and don't hesitate to improve them! Indeed, that's why I'm sharing them here!

New Summaries

These are summaries I have written recently and not sorted into the lists above yet:

Read But Unwritten

These are summaries I have not written here but hope to write soon. I use this list as a sort of running todo list:

Zotero Integration

I've written a little citation style language file that one can import into Zotero. Detailed instructions on installation and use are online here:

User:Benjamin Mako Hill/Zotero integration

My Thoughts about AcaWiki

To my knowledge, AcaWiki is the only freely-licensed, collaboratively-edited, repository for summaries of academic articles. That's why I'm here. That said, it has a number of problems I'd like to see fixed:

  1. Outreach -- Most of the work on AcaWiki seems to be technical in nature. AcaWiki is not a technical problem. If we can convince 20 PhD students reading for qualifying or general exams in different field to post the summaries they are already making to this wiki, we will have created the single best resource of academic paper summaries anywhere. I'm trying to do my part! You should to!
  2. CAPTCHAs -- The reCAPTCHAs are extremely annoying. They should be shown for anonymous editors who are adding links and for new user registrations and never for new users. The current situation is madness and are driving away contributions.
  3. Templates -- There are errors or problems in the templates for the forms I see no (documented?) way to edit these.
  4. Impoverished metadata -- The metadata here is pretty weak and creating yet-another-bibliographic-metadata-format seems like a very poor way to go. AcaWiki should store rich metadata but should store it in an existing format like Zotero RDF (freely available and with all the semantic-web-goodness we want). Making that transition is probably a big step, but I think it's worth it.
  5. Forms for subpages -- Forms should be smarter and not try to force the template used in a particular namespace onto people using subpages. Try to edit User:Benjamin Mako Hill/Zotero integration to get an idea of what the problem is.
  6. -- This should redirect to! Right now it just gives pages not found links!

Please edit my talk page and lets talk about this!