Saturday, October 3, 2009

Medieval Scotland Wikipedia Article

The article Scotland in the High Middle Ages has been edited 594 times. While this is a surprisingly small number of edits compared to some other feature articles, this small number of edits is partially due to the user, “Deacon of Pndapetzim." This use has edited the article 211 times, and is responsible for the first incarnation of this article, which was surprisingly complete.
The completness of the initial article, (created January 6, 2006), indicates that this editor is very knowledgeable about the topic. The original article include Society, Legal institutions, Curch, Culture, Demographics and many different kinds of graphics and maps.
Due to this editor, the article has not gone through many substantive changes in its content, and has been edited primarily for wikipedian standards and grammatical errors. A few editors remarked that their edits were to cure some vandalism (the entire page was once blanked). Most of the substantive changes have occurred because the author seems to have posted the original article from a scholarly paper. It looks like it may have been a survey paper on Scottish Medieval history, as it had sections entitled, "Bibliography" and "References" which were subsequently put into the Wikipedian standard.
The writing of the article is startling bad, I do not mean that the writing is terrible, but for the level of scholarship, I would expect the writing to be better. One such error surprised me so much that I corrected it without thinking. A sentence read, “Scotland in this period, for such a small region of Eurasia, is relatively well studied in this period.” I gasped at the repetition of “in this period,” and quickly edited it out to make more sense. The grammatical structure of the article is poor, with many words and phrases being needlessly reused. This seriously reduces the readability of the article, but does no necessarily detract from the overall wealth of content.
The content is comprehensive and seemingly accurate. Various theories of the development in Scotland during this time period are investigated, and even-handed consideration is given to many of the competing philosophies.
The discussion of this article is very interesting in two ways. The “Deacon of Pndapetzim” only makes one comment, and most of the discussion is about other possible articles. Some of the discussion centers on creating a distinction of “Early, High and Late” Medieval eras, with pertinent articles for each. Some grammatical clarifications are discussed and two ideas are addressed. Sport and borders are addressed as possibly lacking in the article.
When we examine the articles that have been created by, “Deacon of Pndapetzim,” we quickly discover why this editor is probably absent from discussion related to this particular article. He (or she) is absolutely prolific in the creation of Medieval articles. This editor has a significant number of accolades from Wikipedia and an amazingly long history of making Scotland well understood on Wikipedia.
Overall, the article is noteworthy and would be a good place for anyone interested in the Medieval era to start learning.

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