An introductory video about how to edit Wikipedia and medicine.
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and has a distinct style that may take some time getting used to.
It is important that articles use the best sources and content is given due weight. Different from scientific papers, Wikipedia medical and health content is preferably sourced to secondary sources over primary sources. Citing a review article is preferred over an original trial.
To get you started and to explain why this is important here are a number of guides and guidelines:
WikiProject Medicine was started in 2004 by Dr. Jacob de Wolff as WikiProject Clinical Medicine with the later branch WikiProject Preclinical Medicine. These merged and WikiProject Medicine has since been one of Wikipedia's most active WikiProjects. WP:MED as it is known aims to manage and help in curation of Wikipedia's medical articles. We write articles and discuss all manner of issues on our talk page: WT:MED.
Through the years we've built up a catalogue of sub-projects and task-forces which vary in their activity, you can find some of them at the task force page.
WikiProject Medicine is the English arm of an international community of Wikimedia medical projects — more of which can be found through the international WikiProject Med Foundation — on the Meta-wiki.
The Translation Task Force is a global initiative by WikiProject Medicine and Translators Without Borders which has translated over 1900 articles into 100+ languages. It doesn't matter if your first language is English or Swahili, there are always things you can help out with. Head over to our project page!
All versions of the app are free and available for download!
A fully offline distribution system known as Internet-in-a-Box is also available. These devices are made from a miniature computer that can be connected to via wifi. All the material that exists on the device can then be accessed. The devices are distributed for the price of the underlying hardware (30 to 40 USD).
Wikipedia can be a great resource for getting to know a field — and it can give you an encyclopaedic overview of a subject, acting as a spring-board letting you dive deeper. It should however not be used as your only source when performing research, and you should never blindly trust Wikipedia. Over the years a lot of research has been amassed surrounding the reliability and biases of Wikipedia.
To see some of the studies that have been produced on the quality and scope of medical information on Wikipedia take a look at some of the research:
Willinsky, John M.; Maggio, Lauren A. (December 2019). "Is Medical Education Ready for Universal Open Access to Research?". Journal of Graduate Medical Education. 11 (6): 621–623. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-19-00699.1. PMID31871557.
Joorabchi, Arash; Doherty, Cailbhe; Dawson, Jennifer (23 December 2019). "'WP2Cochrane', a tool linking Wikipedia to the Cochrane Library: Results of a bibliometric analysis evaluating article quality and importance". Health Informatics Journal: 146045821989271. doi:10.1177/1460458219892711. PMID31868082.
Lagunes Garcia, Gerardo; Prieto Santamaria, Lucia; Garcia del Valle, Eduardo P.; Zanin, Massimiliano; Menasalvas Ruiz, Ernestina; Rodriguez Gonzalez, Alejandro (2019). Wikipedia Disease Articles: An Analysis of their Content and Evolution. IEEE. doi:10.1109/cbms.2019.00136. ISBN978-1-7281-2286-1.
Ngo, DH; Truran, D; Kemp, M; Lawley, M; Metke-Jimenez, A (8 Aug 2019). "Can Wikipedia Be Used to Derive an Open Clinical Terminology?". Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 266 (Digital Health: Changing the Way Healthcare is Conceptualised and Delivered): 136–141. doi:10.3233/SHTI190785. PMID31397314.
Jabaley, Craig S.; Groff, Robert F.; O'Reilly-Shah, Vikas N. (2019-02-15). "Asthma Information Seeking via Wikipedia between 2015 and 2018: Implications for Awareness Promotion". American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 199 (4): 531–533. doi:10.1164/rccm.201809-1649LE. PMID30521354.
Oeberst, Aileen; von der Beck, Ina; Cress, Ulrike; Nestler, Steffen (2019-03-20). "Wikipedia outperforms individuals when it comes to hindsight bias". Psychological Research. doi:10.1007/s00426-019-01165-7. PMID30895365.
Hutton, Mary O.; Dawson, Jennifer E.; Lee, Kachiu C.; Shumaker, Peter R.; Doney, Elizabeth; Dellavalle, Robert P. (March 2019). "Improving Wikipedia Skin Disease Content". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 81 (5): 1193–1195. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2019.03.063. PMID30928466.
London, Daniel A.; Andelman, Steven M.; Christiano, Anthony V.; Kim, Joung Heon; Hausman, Michael R.; Kim, Jaehon M. (2019-07-01). "Is Wikipedia a complete and accurate source for musculoskeletal anatomy?". Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy. 41 (10): 1187–1192. doi:10.1007/s00276-019-02280-1. PMID31264001.
Suwannakhan, Athikhun; Casanova-Martínez, Daniel; Yurasakpong, Laphatrada; Montriwat, Punchalee; Meemon, Krai; Limpanuparb, Taweetham (2019-06-24). "The Quality and Readability of English Wikipedia Anatomy Articles". Anatomical Sciences Education. doi:10.1002/ase.1910. PMID31233658.
Brigo, Francesco; Lattanzi, Simona (2019). "Is it really epilepsy? Accuracy of images and videos conveying epilepsy-related information in Wikipedia". Epilepsy & Behavior. 96: 249–250. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.04.048. PMID31130497.
Rigamonti, L.; Dolci, A.; Galetta, F.; Stefanelli, C.; Hughes, M.; Bartsch, M.; Seidelmeier, I.; Bonaventura, K.; Back, D. A. (2019-05-09). "Social media and e-learning use among European exercise science students". Health Promotion International. doi:10.1093/heapro/daz046. PMID31071200.
Meka, Jennifer; Vigliotti, Alyssa (2018). "Should Crowdsourced, Unvetted Content on Wikipedia Be Used in Health Sciences Teaching and Learning?". AMA Journal of Ethics. 20 (11): E1033–1040. doi:10.1001/amajethics.2018.1033. PMID30499431.
Antonio Mouriño García, Marcos; Pérez Rodríguez, Roberto; Anido Rifón, Luis (May 2018). "Leveraging Wikipedia knowledge to classify multilingual biomedical documents". Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. 88: 37–57. doi:10.1016/j.artmed.2018.04.007. PMID29730047.
Modiri, Omeed; Guha, Daipayan; Alotaibi, Naif M.; Ibrahim, George M.; Lipsman, Nir; Fallah, Aria (March 2018). "Readability and quality of wikipedia pages on neurosurgical topics". Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. 166: 66–70. doi:10.1016/j.clineuro.2018.01.021. PMID29408776.
Brigo, F.; Lattanzi, S.; Bragazzi, N.; Nardone, R.; Moccia, M.; Lavorgna, L. (February 2018). "Why do people search Wikipedia for information on multiple sclerosis?". Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 20: 210–214. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.02.001. PMID29428464.
Brigo, Francesco; Lattanzi, Simona; Giussani, Giorgia; Tassi, Laura; Pietrafusa, Nicola; Galimberti, Carlo Andrea; Nardone, Raffaele; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; Mecarelli, Oriano (April 2018). "Italian Wikipedia and epilepsy: An infodemiological study of online information-seeking behavior". Epilepsy & Behavior. 81: 119–122. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2018.01.037. PMID29454607.
Mahroum, Naim; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; Sharif, Kassem; Gianfredi, Vincenza; Nucci, Daniele; Rosselli, Roberto; Brigo, Francesco; Adawi, Mohammad; Amital, Howard; Watad, Abdulla (June 2018). "Leveraging Google Trends, Twitter, and Wikipedia to Investigate the Impact of a Celebrityʼs Death From Rheumatoid Arthritis". Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 24 (4): 188–192. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000692. PMID29461342.
Shane-Simpson, Christina; Che, Elizabeth; Brooks, Patricia J. (31 July 2016). "Giving Psychology Away: Implementation of Wikipedia Editing in an Introductory Human Development Course". Psychology Learning & Teaching. 15 (3): 268–293. doi:10.1177/1475725716653081.
James, Richard (2016). "WikiProject Medicine: Creating Credibility in Consumer Health". Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 16 (4): 344–351. doi:10.1080/15323269.2016.1221284.
Azzam, Amin; Bresler, David; Leon, Armando; Maggio, Lauren; Whitaker, Evans; Heilman, James; Orlowitz, Jake; Swisher, Valerie; Rasberry, Lane; Otoide, Kingsley; Trotter, Fred; Ross, Will; McCue, Jack D. (2016). "Why Medical Schools Should Embrace Wikipedia". Academic Medicine. 92 (2): 194–200. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000001381. PMID27627633.
Torous, J; Franzan, J; O'Connor, R; Mathew, I; Keshavan, M; Kitts, R; Boland, R (December 2015). "Psychiatry Residents' Use of Educational Websites: A Pilot Survey Study". Academic Psychiatry : The Journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry. 39 (6): 630–3. doi:10.1007/s40596-015-0335-8. PMID26077007. Residents reported utilizing online resources on average 68 % of the time, in comparison to 32 % on average for printed materials. Residents reported UpToDate, PubMed, and Wikipedia as the most visited websites and ranked each highly but for different purposes.
Putman, T.; Burgstaller, S.; Waagmeester, A.; Wu, C.; Su, A. I.; Good, B. (2015). "Centralizing content and distributing labor: a community model for curating the very long tail of microbial genomes". bioRxiv10.1101/031286.
Mitraka, E.; Waagmeester, A.; Burgstaller-Muehlbacher, S.; Schriml, L. M.; Su, A. I.; Good, B. M. (2015). "Wikidata: A platform for data integration and dissemination for the life sciences and beyond". bioRxiv10.1101/031971.
Pfundner, Alexander; Schönberg, Tobias; Horn, John; Boyce, Richard D; Samwald, Matthias (5 May 2015). "Utilizing the Wikidata System to Improve the Quality of Medical Content in Wikipedia in Diverse Languages: A Pilot Study". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 17 (5): e110. doi:10.2196/jmir.4163. PMID25944105.
Nowrouzi, Behdin; Gohar, Basem; Nowrouzi-Kia, Behnam; Garbaczewska, Martyna; Brewster, Keith (April 2015). "An Examination of Scope, Completeness, Credibility, and Readability of Health, Medical, and Nutritional Information on the Internet: A Comparative Study of Wikipedia, WebMD, and the Mayo Clinic Websites". Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 39: S71. doi:10.1016/j.jcjd.2015.01.267. (conference abstract in journal supplement)
Azer, Samy A. (2015). "Is Wikipedia a reliable learning resource for medical students? Evaluating respiratory topics". Advances in Physiology Education. 39 (1): 5–14. doi:10.1152/advan.00110.2014. PMID25727464.
Venkatraman, Anand; Kumar, Nilay; Garg, Neetika (February 2015). "Greater freedom of speech on Web 2.0 correlates with dominance of views linking vaccines to autism". Vaccine. 33 (12): 1422–1425. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.01.078. PMID25665960.