The Personal Science Wiki hosts knowledge about "personal science", where individuals use empirical methods to ask and answer questions about their own lives. Personal science practices overlap with various related communities (e.g. Quantified Self and patient-led research) and individual goals are diverse (e.g. productivity and wellness, mental health, and management of chronic health conditions).
The scope of this wiki encompasses both general knowledge (tools and topics) as well as individual efforts (people and projects). As such, original research that shares personal science efforts and observations is explicitly allowed.
What is personal science?
- For a longer description and history, see Personal science
Personal science is research conducted from a first person perspective, where the researcher is also the subject of research. Many projects are done independently, but personal science can occur at individual and collective scales ("I" or "we"). What is key is that the conceptualization and conduct of projects comes from the individuals that are studied: the involvement of institutional support and professional scientists (e.g. academics) is limited and often entirely absent.
As such, personal science is a form of citizen science that can occur almost entirely outside traditional research institutions. At the same time, many practitioners of personal science come from academia and adjacent fields (research industry, technology, medicine), re-using their skills in research and technology to investigate personally relevant questions.
Due to the highly individual and non-institutional nature of personal science, knowledge sharing amongst practitioners has been historically limited and ad-hoc. The goal of this wiki is to be an ongoing co-created resource for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
About this wiki
This wiki was developed as an offshoot of conversations in self research chats, attended by individuals interested in Quantified Self and self research practices. It was initiated as part of research by the Peer-Produced Research Lab, including the set up of categories, semantic data linking, and templates. The wiki's server, as well as weekly chats, are hosted by Open Humans Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit based in the United States. Content on this wiki has also been seeded with content shared by Quantified Self Labs.
Governance is not currently highly defined, following a consensus-driven approach within these communities.
Why a wiki?
Personal science is not new: people have already been sharing information, insights, and advice related to personal science in other ways (via online forums, social media, and meet-up events). However, it can be difficult to navigate these sources to determine an overall consensus of current knowledge or to discover related information.
Wikis are very useful for creating consensus knowledge in a decentralized manner. Unlike other ways to publish information (e.g. git for source code), wiki editors can update the content users see without awaiting editorial review. Wiki pages also help create consensus knowledge for a topic, as they are subject to revision by any other editor.
Original research is allowed
Unlike Wikipedia, we believe there must be original research that is explicitly included within the domain of personal science! Individuals are invited to share their research processes and results.
Exactly what format this should take remains a topic of exploration. We invite individuals to document their own work (see Category:People). We also welcome documenting the work that others have shared elsewhere (e.g. on personal blogs or in online forums).
How do I contribute to this wiki?
To learn about the technical part of contributing to this wiki, see Getting started with wiki syntax.