Open main menu

Guidelines and policies

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 we use the best sources and that we give them due weight. Setting us apart from scientific papers we prefer secondary sources over primary sources. We'd rather cite a review article than an original trial.
  • To get you started and to explain why this is important we have a number of guides and guidelines:
Reliable Sources      Manual of Style
Conflicts of Interest      How to edit
Our guides complement Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and take great care to explain why they are relevant.
More resources

Wikipedia LibraryEdit

The Wikipedia Medical Library
The Wikipedia Library is a resource for anyone who wants to use Wikipedia or to do research to help expand and improve Wikipedia.
Specialised resources for Medical editors coming soon

The Library


EDIT: Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Tools


  There is also a tool to find all our sub pages: Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/ — only for the truly curious

Article AlertsEdit

Did you know

Articles for deletion

Proposed deletions

Categories for discussion

Redirects for discussion

Good article nominees

Requests for comments

Peer reviews

Articles to be merged

(42 more...)

Articles to be split

Articles for creation

(18 more...)

Recent changesEdit


Priority tasksEdit

Systematic reviews


Maintenance tasks

Maintenance tasksEdit

Determine the quality of these articles

These pages are potentially in the WikiProject's scope.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Tasks/SuggestBot

Other tasksEdit


Requests for Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine via Wikipedia Requests:

91 total open requests • 4 total completed requests

… View full list+ Add request

Requested articles



Category:Medicine templates contains all templates used on medicine-related articles.

  • {{WPMED|class=|importance=}} - Placed on talk pages of medicine-related articles and used to assess articles.
  • {{reqphoto|medical subjects}} - Used on talk pages to request that photographs be added to the article.
  • {{med-stub}} - Used on stub articles (here is the complete list)
  • {{Medref}} - Used to indicate an article in need of adequate references.
    • {{Medref|section|{{subst:DATE}}}} - Used to indicate an section in need of adequate references.
  • {{Medicine}} - The bottom navbox template to be used on articles about broad disciplines of medicine.
  • {{medical advice}} - placed around requests for medical advice on talk pages (box ends with {{cob}}).
  • {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Navigation}} - transcludes the navigation template shown to the right.
  • {{Expanded reliable sources for medical content}} - updated template providing links to recent reviews, for use on Talk pages
  • {{PartofWPMedicine}} - The assertion of this tag does not mean ownership. It's merely a way to direct users to the broader project.

Inline with article textEdit


WP:Infoboxes have been created for a number of article types including:


For other editorsEdit

the welcome video
  • Welcome messages (all of these should be substituted onto a user's talk page):
    • {{subst:WPMED welcome}} ~~~~ – Welcome message for new Wikipedians (with invitation to join us) – newish, with video
    • {{subst:Welcome medical student}} ~~~~ – For welcoming new editors who appear to be students associated with a course
    • {{subst:Student}}~~~~ – For welcoming new editors who appear to be students associated with a course, with more detailed advice
  • [[File:New medical editor.ogv|thumb|right|thumbtime=2:59|right|320px|Welcome to Wikipedia]] A video that can be transcluded onto the pages of new users.
  • {{subst:RSPlease}} ~~~~ – User Talk page request to use MEDRS sources
  • {{subst:EasyEn}} ~~~~ – User Talk page request to use easier to understand English

For WP:MED contributorsEdit

  • {{User WPMed}} – Userbox for members of this WikiProject.
  • {{WikiProject Medicine topicon}} – For members of this WikiProject. Adds a topicon to your user page.
  • {{User MedLat}} – Userbox for those who understand Medical Latin (Babel-compatible; just add |MedLat to your Babel template)


Coming soon…

This page outlines external resources useful for writing medicine related articles. It complements Wikipedia:Reliable sources (medicine-related articles) which explains how to determine ideal sourcing.

For a one-page handout on how to edit Wikipedia's content see: WP:MED/How to edit

Finding imagesEdit

Most images from the internet are copyrighted and should not be used in Wikipedia.

The NIH has an search engine for open images HERE. Use with care as many of the images are NC licensed and therefore not compatible with Wikipedia.

Community members interested in creating imagesEdit

We also have a few people who are interested in creating images for Wikipedia including:

Requested imagesEdit

  • ...

Non-suitable imagesEdit

  • Medlineplus [1]: even though it is a US government source, it uses images that may be copyrighted by others.
  • Other sources in the ".gov" domain may use images from istock photos, and such images may not be in the public domain.

Finding sourcesEdit

Source url Comments
TRIP Database This resource is useful to find references suitable for Wikipedia as it breaks the literature down into secondary sources versus primary sources. It searches the Cochrane Library and many other databases containing systematic reviews, medical guidelines, and evidence-based synopses among others. TRIP Answers is a website related to the TRIP Database which aims to answer clinical questions directly.
Pubmed A large collection that includes more than 22 million citations and abstracts and tens of thousands of links to the full-text articles. If desired by the user, search results can be limited to show only review articles, full-text articles freely available to the public, or studies from some 120 "Core Clinical" journals (they are all English-language journals). Results are also sortable by publication date. The PubMed identifiers (PMIDs) can be used with the "cite" button found at the top of the edit window. On the left side of a Pubmed abstract you will find filters for "Article types" and you can select "Reviews" there; you can also filter by "Text availability". Pubmed abstracts also have a field called "Publication Type" at the bottom, that shows how Pubmed has classified the study; check to see if the source is a review or not, before using it.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Reliable source for public-domain information, especially for infectious diseases. Also has a library of copyright-free images.
NCBI bookshelf Free access to over 700 health-science textbooks
Google Scholar A Google search portal limited to scholarly work (including not only medicine, but also legal articles and patents). Allows easy access to many University and Institutional online collections (with proper affiliation). A useful feature of Google Scholar is "Cited by...", showing who else has cited a particular paper.
Google Books Makes available free, limited views of a number of medical textbooks. ISBNs are available, aiding referencing.
DynaMed Subscription required. Provides evidence-based topic overviews and summaries, with plenty of links to the full text of key published clinical evidence, including international guidelines. It also includes live links to PubMed. Trial access may be obtained here.
Emedicine Also known as Medscape Reference. Free, but registration is required. Not the best source of content, with concerns that advertising affects its reliability.
Cochrane collaboration Perhaps the foremost evidence-based group. Complete access to their collections is available in many countries.

Also produces the Cochrane Library.

NICE The guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK.
PLoS Journals A collection of open-source scientific journals, including PLoS Medicine
SIGN The guidelines from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network in the UK.
World Health Organization Fact sheets from the WHO.
EB medicine Excellent reviews of emergency-medicine topics. Issues more than 3 years old are freely available to the public.
USPSTF Thorough evidence-based evaluations of medical topics by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
PTSDpub Managed by the VA's National Center for PTSD on the Proquest platform, this robust search engine provides citations and abstracts to the peer-reviewed PTSD literature. Not limited to combat trauma. Previously known as "PILOTS".

Other useful Search Engines include:

  • NHS Evidence: Search portal for health and social care produced by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for NHS England. Includes a one-stop search engine covering a wide range of sources, including the Cochrane Library, British National Formulary, and UK and international guidelines. Much of the content of NHS Evidence is free to view, but access to certain sections (e.g. many full-text journals and the databases AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, Health Business Elite, MEDLINE and PsycINFO) requires a NHS Athens username & password – see the NHS Athens eligibility criteria here
  • Prodigy Knowledge (previously known as Clinical Knowledge Summaries - CKS) is aimed at clinicians in primary care. It provides reliable evidence-based information and practical "know how" about the common conditions managed in primary care.
  • EMBASE: A high-quality medical index that often generates better results than PubMed. It is proprietary and requires a paid subscription.
  • CINAHL: A proprietary index focusing on nursing and allied health care. It requires a paid subscription.

Historical documentsEdit

Documents published before 1923 are, in most cases, not copyrighted. While many of these documents are outdated, they can still be of great utility in supplementing "History" sections of certain medical articles. Also, historical images can still depict symptoms of diseases, normal anatomy, and other features quite accurately.

Possible sources of useful images and text of historical interest include: