We consider how wiki pages relate to other works and how how such information can be composed into a useful historical record. We borrow biological terms for aspects of this problem.
Wiki is composed of replicators that are subject to selection and thus evolution. It is alive. Academic literature is similarly alive but out of step with the pace of a digital medium. See Biological Inspiration
Items replicate through drag and drop copy between pages. Items self-identify by a preserved random id.
Pages replicate through fork between sites. Pages self-identify by a slug constructed from a preserved title.
Sites replicate through export and whole site preservation mechanisms only now being developed. Sites self-identify by Welcome Page and externally by domain name.
Content from outside the federation enters the ecosystem by means found convenient to the authors who animate the space.
Words enter items by author's recall, cut and paste, and content dropped on Factories by an author.
Data enter items by content dropped on Factories and protected api end-points of server-side components.
Web resources enter pages by drag and drop transport reviewed and accepted by an author.
Whole documents enter sites by mechanical translation to page json wrapped with open source wiki server software.
Foreign servers enter sites by mimicking some or all of the federation's server to server protocol.
We expect to draw value from and contribute back to world culture even when that culture observes different replication practices.
Copyright law reserves some rights to some authors recognized by some governments over some periods.
Academic citation provides a currency convertible to tenure for a diminishing few.
Publishers certify the quality and originality of works by attaching their own name to a particular copy.
Carriers enclose works in envelopes marked with source and destination and sometimes cryptographic assurances.
Metadata surrounds work stored or processed by computers with their own schema and identities.
We expect authors to recognize the source and appraise the value of the works they choose to incorporate. To this end a significant portion of a works history should be visible or easily discoverable at the point of use.
Recognizeable identifying marks on all replicators. Flags for sites, Titles for pages, and Actions on items.
Methods for retrieving more detailed provenance recorded within items, actions, pages and sites.
Participation in evolving world culture especially academic and scientific culture.
See also Citation Bar for an alternative phenotype.
The Cell 6th Editon
The Cell 3rd Edition
Computer programmers looking to grok biology may want to shop for used edition of The Cell by Bruce Alberts et al. Priceless are the illustrations. Alberts @ UCSF
Personally I don't mind markup and highlighter pen on my used books. Helps direct attention as The Cell is +1250 pages and weights 6.8 lbs / 3 kilograms. Often used editions for sale at Research University books stores at end of term, sometimes used online.