A piece of Knowledge by Google
Knol (pronounce “nol”), which stands for a unit of Knowledge, is a new free (belongs to the Google family) tool which makes it easy to write an authorative web article. Everybody can write a knol about everything (any topic your mind can imagine)!! Knols are not moderated, only rated by readers. Authors retain the power to accept or reject any changes. It is a kind of wikipedia but without editors.
“Knol will place the author’s name on each article, allowing readers to see who wrote the piece, and will allow multiple articles on the same topic. The anonymity of Wikipedia has long been a point of contention with users. Political groups, PR firms and overzealous users have been involved in numerous instances of Wikipedia entries being inappropriately modified. “The key principle behind Knol is authorship,” wrote Google product manager Cedric Dupont and software engineer Michael McNally.” http://www.iwr.co.uk/information-world-review/news/2222530/google-rolls-knol
– Introduction to Patents: http://knol.google.com/k/mark-williams/patents/1ec5gce8be2m5/2
My opinion: Has been presented at Online Information London, Dec. 2008. As many Google products, adoption and diffusion of Knol during its first months is faster than Wikipedia at the same stage. But the lack of authoritativeness (no control by peers) will probably be seen like a major point by Scientists.