It's amazing what can happen to a PhD thesis with a little help from the Web and a Creative Commons license.
That thought ran through my head as I wrote about Felipe Ortega, a researcher at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. Ortega did his thesis on Wikipedia and there's more than you'll every want to know about the site.
More importantly, however, is the way he opened up his thesis to the world via the Web. His research has given Ortega some media play and surfaced him as an expert on Wikipedia.
Take away the Web and Ortega's research would be a hefty print out that few outside his university would know.
The gist of Ortega's research is that Wikipedia may be too reliant on its most active volunteers. And unless Wikipedia gets more folks on board editing content it could be at risk.
But that story is almost secondary. The Web, wikis and other tools have made it possible to harness the know-how of researchers all around the globe. And all you need is an Internet connection.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com