The Role of Web 2.0 in Science

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The article entitled “Science 2.0” by Mitchell Waldrop explores the possibility of web-based “Science 2.0” being the next technological transformation after the first generation of World Wide Web capabilities that speedily transformed information search and retailing through social networking, tagging, and blogging.[1] According to the article, “science 2.0” could be the next source of technological transformation since an increasing number of researchers have started conducting their studies using wide-open Web 2.0 tools and their experience, so far, suggests that the web-based “science 2.0” is more collegial and more productive than traditional science.[2]

            According to the article, science 2.0 relates to new scientific practices of posting raw experimental results, claims of discovery, nascent theories, and draft papers on the website for other people see and make comments.[3] The author's view is that science happens not merely because scientists conduct experiments but because they discuss such experiments. Therefore, suggesting, critiquing, and sharing data and ideas forms the core of science and the most powerful tool for building on colleagues’ work, correcting errors, and creating new knowledge.[4]

            The view of those in support of science 2.0 is that scientists should find the transition or shift to Web 2.0 as a natural move because, since the time of Newton and Galileo, scientists have been building up their knowledge by embracing the contribution of several researchers and then refining the gathered knowledge through open discussions or debates.[5]

According to the article, Web 2.0 technologies create a much richer dialogue and make scientific progress more cooperative and more productive.[6]

            Those opposed to science 2.0 argue that scientists who post their preliminary findings online (on the Web) risk having others exploit or copy their work to get patents or gain credit. However, proponents of science 2.0 maintain that when scientists do their work out in the open (online), they quickly realize that they are no longer competing with other scientists, but collaborating with them. Thus, despite the associated benefits and weaknesses, science 2.0 sites are proliferating and are likely to transform scientific research.


Waldrop, Mitchell. 2008. "Science 2.0". Scientific America, 69-73.


Waldrop, Mitchell. 2008. "Science 2.0," 69.


Ibid. 70.


Ibid. 71


Ibid. 71.


Ibid. 72.


Ibid. 73.

August 14, 2023


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