Wikipedia May Require Proof of Credentials
At Metafilter, I suggested the following sometime back. I think the basic idea is sound.
On the general topic of open source knowledge as far as the academic subjects go, how's this for a partial solution: oversight by credentialed experts who may be anonymous if they wish?
Here's how it would work -
1)For each of the broad science fields (physics, biology..), the WP admins make a request for participation by credentialed experts. Users submit their information confidentially and have their identity and information verified by some official channel of communication. All the verified become members of a college, say, Wikipedia College of Physics. A select number of those verified become members of an interim subject oversight committee. This is the bootstrapping phase.
2)The selected committee, once in place, assumes charge of admitting new experts and assigning nuanced declarations of expertise onto members of that college.
3)So, let's say now that you have a contentious chemistry article. All the basic aspects remain the same as before. Anyone can edit, even anonymous users. Should there be a dispute which remains unresolved after a couple of to-and-fros, then the college is approached to have the final say on the matter. Its decision is final and binding.
4)This system also allows legitimate experts to assert their expertise anonymously. Admitted members can put up a banner/icon/whatever on their user page and committee-restricted pages can list member-rolls for sake of verification. Only the college committee personnel responsible for expertise verification know of identities. For sake of accountability, these personnel may be required to have their identities be public.
5)In addition to dispute resolution, maybe the relevant members can assume charge of specific topics and pages. They then periodically review high-traffic articles within their domain.
6)In order to prevent ideological bias within a college, requirement should be essential but minimal i.e. a graduate or greater degree in that field, or current full-time pursuit of such qualification at an accredited institution.