Mod+ Robert McLuhan: Society for Psychical Research On-line Encyclopedia

There has been a lot of talk about the need for an on-line encyclopedia of parapsychology as an antidote to wikipedia's pseudo-skeptical bias. Evidently Robert McLuhan is working on one for the Society for Psychical Research. It is scheduled to be running by the first half of 2015.
I’ve been busy getting the SPR’s online encyclopedia going
To date I’ve commissioned about forty articles, of which half are completed. They’re in no particular order – topics are as various as Children’s Memories of a Past Life, Twin Telepathy, Photography in Psi Research, Meditation and Psi, Leonora Piper, the Million Dollar Challenge, the Enfield Poltergeist, etc. Everything will get covered eventually.

There will also be around two hundred case studies, accessible summaries of key episodes in the literature of psychical research. Where possible I’ll include the original reports, something I think will be especially useful with older poltergeist cases, where witness testimony is most convincing in its original form. That’s not possible with NDE and past life memories research, for copyright reasons, but I’ve drafted summaries of some of Ian Stevenson’s cases, which I think works pretty well, so there will be more of those.

Then of course there will be short biographies of deceased researchers and subjects (although the more significant will of course be described in much longer articles, such as Frederic Myers and Leonora Piper). I daresay we shall include brief biogs of living researchers, which I shall encourage them to provide. There will also be short reviews of key books – eventually perhaps two hundred in number – which will consist of a paragraph of description followed by a paragraph of comment.

So even if I get sufficient material ready at an early stage, the launch date will be determined by the progress we make in other areas. But I’d ideally like to see it up and running in the first half of next year, and would be disappointed it got pushed back much further.
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Its good that this is being done by the Society for Psychical Research. There had been talk of something like this being organized by the Parapsychological Association, but there is a strong bias against afterlife research among many parapsychologists, so it's better that the SPR is doing this.
I asked in the comments:
Is the encyclopedia going to cover topics of parapsychology such as Ganzfeld experiments, remote viewing, presentiment, etc?

Posted by: ncu9nc | September 05, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Robert McLuhan replied
Yes indeed, there will be loads on the experimental stuff. But I haven't commissioned any yet, as I need to work with parapsychologists, and that's taking a bit of time to get sorted.

Posted by: Robert McLuhan | September 05, 2014 at 06:30 PM

October 12, 2015

Regular readers will like to know that the Psi Encyclopedia is a going concern, and with luck will be in business within two or three months, once the glitches have been ironed out. At this early stage there are about a hundred articles contributed by thirty writers, totalling around 350,000 words. It could be four times that within two or three years, and if we keep the momentum up, perhaps as many as 800 entries eventually, including book reviews and short profiles. The balance isn’t as good as I’d like, with not enough on experimental parapsychology. But some well-known people in the field have agreed to contribute, so this should even out quite quickly.