The best known wiki, Wikipedia, allows the entire world to contribute content and relies on that large audience to identify and change incorrect information that is added. The fact that this doesn’t always happen promptly underlies Wikipedia’s reputation as a source that cannot always be trusted. SPE has a much smaller base of potential authors/consumers and believes that the consequences of having incorrect information available through PetroWiki are too great to rely on “crowd-sourcing” to catch errors.
Why SPE chose to moderate PetroWiki
SPE has a reputation for providing sound technical content and wants to extend that reputation to PetroWiki. To ensure that the content is technically sound, review by at least two SPE members with expertise in the subject matter is valuable. While we are confident that the SPE membership would eventually find and correct inaccuracies, we don’t want others to reference that information in the interim. We prefer to have contributions moderated as a way of providing better information to the users of PetroWiki.
What moderation means
While moderation decreases the chances of inaccuracies, it does not eliminate it. Moderation does not mean that information in PetroWiki is always applicable or that it reflects the “best practice” for a given situation. The highly variable nature of hydrocarbon reservoirs, hydrocarbons themselves, surface conditions, and numerous other factors determine the techniques that are most appropriate in a given situation. Users of information in PetroWiki must apply sound engineering judgment in evaluating whether contents are applicable to their specific situation. Most articles provide links to other resources that users may find helpful in evaluating the applicability of information to their situation. See PetroWiki:Disclaimer.
How moderation works
SPE has assigned several moderators to each content page in the wiki, most often from different companies. SPE has selected moderators based on their expertise in the subject matter. When an SPE member edits a wiki page, the moderators for that page are notified. When two moderators have reviewed and approved the edits, then they are approved and everyone will be able to see the page with those changes.
SPE appreciates the volunteer efforts of PetroWiki’s moderators.