Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine

Active discussions
  (Redirected from Wikipedia talk:MED)
Skip to top
Skip to bottom

Edit with the visual editor

Welcome to the WikiProject Medicine talk page. If you have comments or believe something can be improved, feel free to post. Also feel free to introduce yourself if you plan on becoming an active editor!

We do not provide medical advice; please see a health professional.

List of archives

Featured article removal candidatesEdit

Featured article removal candidates
History of the City of Burnside Review it now
2005 Atlantic hurricane season Review it now
Boshin War Review it now
Chagas disease Review it now
CM Punk Review it now
L. Ron Hubbard Review it now
Asperger syndrome Review it now

Two medical Featured articles are candidates for removal, with four more in the pipeline (notification has been given that a Featured article review is needed).

WPMED has the resources and knowledge to update and maintain these articles but unfortunately that has not been done, even with notifications given on talk.

FA Dengue fever and others are also in need of updates, but only those that have been formally noticed on talk per the instructions at WP:FAR are listed in the FAR template.

I see a long listing of GA reviews needed as well; a reminder that GA is a one-person process, not a wider community process as FA is (that is, GA status reflects the impression of one editor only so can never carry the same weight as an FA). It is unfortunate for articles that have been maintained to FA status for at least a decade to lose their bronze star, when these could be saved with a bit of elbow crease and collaborative effort. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:28, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

I think this is about members here not prioritizing FA, in part because the process has become needlessly bureaucratic – and lacks understanding of what concessions need to be made for medical articles. I'm inclined to posit that whereas WPMED may have the knowledge, the resources are severely lacking; and not only on WPMED's side. I have no issues with stripping all medical articles of FA-status. Carl Fredrik talk 20:49, 7 March 2020 (UTC)
The process for retaining a star is no different than we should expect of our medical content anyway-- that is, it should not be ten years outdated, regardless of article status. And featured articles have the benefit of a bit more protection from uninformed edits because of their community review. I am unware of any "lack of understanding of concessions" that need to be made for medical articles, and I suspect if something like that existed, I'd know about it. And finally, there are plenty of resources for maintaining important articles current, albeit focused in other directions. I'm not aware of you ever having worked on articles at the FA level,[1] so it would be helpful if you refrain from discouraging others who might be willing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:57, 7 March 2020 (UTC)
I deter your ad hominem regarding my contribution SandyGeorgia. It is both false and not to the point.
What we see may likewise be the article FA status on... acting as a brake on article improvement. While I can’t point to any study, my personal experience is that FAs are often so zealously guarded that editing them is a pain. I’m quite well aware that I am not alone in feeling this, even if others avoid voicing their opinion.
Being a general editor, having worked in different capacities over thousands of medical articles — it is simply not worth the consternation of working on either an FA, FAC or FAR for the extremely modest reward of being featured on the main page.… Why care about a one-time jump in readership of 200k, when I know my efforts on 10 different articles can be seen by upwards of 10,000,000 readers in a month?
I would prefer we had fewer FAs in order to avoid them falling into disrepair because people think they can't edit FAs. Carl Fredrik talk 15:46, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
The number of medical FAs and GAs up to 2017 (doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208601).
A bit late to this thread, but I agree with Sandy. Keeping FAs up to scratch, and promoting new GAs and FAs is a logical high priority for the Med community. Although FA and GA focus quite a bit on style and formatting, the checks on readability, up-to-dateness, and references are very valuable quality assurance procedures. It also serves as a commitment of the community to nurture even well-developed and established pages. The challenge (as always) is having a large enough editor community, but it's an area that many newcomers find themselves drawn to if given opportunity and support. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 11:09, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
But combining the two in a graph is misleading, because GAs are not community reviewed, and GA status has no meaning beyond one editor's opinion. Considering the very bad shape that the medical FAs are in, I shudder to think of the state of the GAs; most of those that I've checked shouldn't be GAs at all, but I don't engage to have them re-assessed because GA has no meaning beyond one editor, and the time spent to delist them is better spent in generating FA content, IMO.
Also, although surprisingly no one here noticed it the first time that publication was posted here, the conflict of interest in that publication is shocking, considering that those articles are self-assessed as "Good articles", often by the same group of editors who then published the results. We wouldn't accept that level of conflict of interest in our medical content sources; why do we accept it here? That is a seriously flawed publication, whose author did not seem to understand that GA is not a community-wide assessment and has no useful meaning for this context. Simply put, whatever that publication claims about quality content at WPMED is based on flawed data and quite the opposite is demonstrably true. Measuring quality by self-assessed status (GA or B-class) is misleading, and that those results were published with such a glaring error is surprising.
Medical FAs in medicine have flatlined since 2015, and the Medicine group has not kept pace with other Project production of FAs; the good news is that by bringing these outdated articles to FAR, they are now receiving attention from the broader community. Please join in to maintain our top content. There was a time when our Featured content was on the main Project page here; how little regard this Project has for producing top content is evidenced in the focus of the project page. A good comparison can be made to Wikipedia:WikiProject Military History, where producing top content is truly a goal, which they achieve quite well. Looking at the focus and processes of that group is instructive.
FAs are the standard by which other articles should be judged, and a guide for new editors as to what they should aim for; we should be concerned that our top content serve as an adequate model for other articles. As of now, almost none of the medicine project articles do that on any level. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:28, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Percentage Growth in FA Categories, 2008–2019, Legend:

Considerably above average, Above average, Average

Below average , Considerably below average, Disastrous

Featured Article Category as of Feb 23,
Sep 16,
Sep 16,
Dec 1,
Jan 1,
Jan 1,
Pct chg
Feb 2008
to 2011
Pct chg
Feb 2008
to 2020
Art, architecture and archaeology 65 72 117 128 175 271 97% 317%
Awards, decorations and vexillology 24 26 28 27 26 24 1.3% 0%
Biology 130 155 261 326 456 625 151% 381%
Business, economics and finance 16 19 22 44 73 116 175% 625%
Chemistry and mineralogy 29 31 34 37 40 46 28% 59%
Computing 17 17 17 18 16 14 5.9% −18%
Culture and society 40 48 61 65 77 104B 63% 160%
Education 30 34 36 38 40 40 27% 33%
Engineering and technology 35 37 38 40 43 49 14% 40%
Food and drink 11 11 9 13 17 21B 18% 91%
Geography and places 148 158 181 185 213 232 25% 57%
Geology and geophysics 9 12 18 20 23 29 122% 222%
Health and medicine 31 36 42 43 51 52 39% 68%
History 146 154 189 201 239 308 38% 111%
Language and linguistics 17 15 13 13 12 15 −24% −12%
Law 29 34 41 49 65 72 69% 148%
Literature and theatre 108 134 161 191 258 316B 77% 193%
Mathematics 13 14 19 17 18 18 31% 38%
Media 159 171 221 231 324 424 45% 167%
Meteorology 61 78 111 126 147 168 107% 175%
Music 153 182 232 254 331 398 66% 160%
Philosophy and psychology 12 13 12 12 12 14 0% 17%
Physics and astronomy 67 82 98 101 127 153 51% 128%
Politics and government 62 67 98 117 166 217 89% 250%
Religion, mysticism and mythology 36 44 73 84 105 121 133% 236%
Royalty, nobility and heraldry 75 90 94 108 124 173 44% 131%
Sport and recreation 119 162 268 298 365 449 150% 277%
Transport 47 74 107 128 171 213 172% 353%
Video gaming 72 96 127 137 180 222 90% 208%
Warfare 145 173 318 366 537 729 152% 403%
Total 1,906 2,239 3,046 3,417 4,431 5,695 A 79.3% 198.8%
  • Note A: Total is off by one; not worth looking for the error.
  • Note B Three food biographies moved [2] per discussion at WT:FAC
  • Note: The very odd dates used in earlier years result from pulling old data from the talk page at WP:FAS.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:11, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

I don't want to side-track this conversation or escalate, especially since I agree with the majority of your points. Minor clarifications: I agree that separating GA and FA would have been better for the graph and have now done so for the version on commons; The paper it's adapted from had multiple authors, not just one; I wasn't sure whether you were saying that GA has shocking COI, or the JECH publication, but the JECH paper included a competing interests section and includes a sentence summarising the reviewer number difference between FA and GA reviews; I agree that we'd not accept GA review for medical content sources, though FA review wouldn't either (but FA is clearly the superior process, and actually has some facets that are superior to traditional academic peer review); . T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:10, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I like the new graph; it demonstrates the problem we've had since 2015. At any rate, moving forward to solutions ... I have separated your posts to continue below. Next, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:20, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

MilHist successesEdit

I agree that FA is a far more valuable process than GA. Though that don'est necessarily mean that GA is valueless as a checking mechanism. It has been pretty common for articles submitted for FA to go through GA first as a screen for obvious issues. However I'd definitely support a focus on FA content (both maintenance of existing and promotion of new). Is anyone able to provide a short summary on how & why Milhist has been so successful in its content quality focus? It might be good to invite a few of them to write a post here summarising learning points that could be applied to medical content. Were there any significant changes around 2009 (other than the changes observed wikipedia-wide) within the MED community focus that lead to the FA plateau? T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:10, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

I will next put up some examples of things MilHist does right, and invite some of the MilHist FA people to comment, but separately for now ... there is a problem with ALL medical assessments being done (whether FA, GA, B-class or this alleged external peer review ... and that is that none of them are maintained. A GA pass five years ago on an article that is not maintained transmits potentially dangerous implications about the accuracy of medical info on Wikipedia. Ditto for all classes. Many (not all) MILHIST FAs are somewhat static and don't require ongoing updates and assessments as medical articles do. As a Project, WPMED has lost focus on the importance of maintaining information in the bodies of articles current, as it has shifted focus to leads only. And yes, I can provide for you a history of the changes that occurred at WPMED that led to this decline. Give me half an hour to put all this together. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:26, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Here are some of the things MILHIST does right (as an explanation of why they dominate top content production at every level on Wikipedia):
What is most obvious is that they set goals for top content production, and have processes in place to track those goals and help achieve them. While WPMED has removed from its Project pages any pretense of aiming at top content production, replacing it with an almost exclusive external focus. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:47, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, speaking as just one editor, I don't think that anyone at MilHist pays much attention to the targets and I believe that they play little or no role in MilHist's relative success. I think that a working ACR system is a key component of it though, so far as the better quality articles are concerned. So is the contests and awards thing; partly in the way they incentivise newer and/or less prolific editors. This may be part of what I think is a second key component (alongside ACRs) of its success: the way the project welcomes, fosters and encourages newcomers. In my possibly biased opinion MilHist is an area which actually lives up to (mostly) those good old-fashioned Wikipedian values. As I wrote in this month's Signpost "Members of the Military History Project have collegially made the project a comfortable place to work in such a natural, even graceful, way that what they have achieved seems normal." Which brings me to thirdly: there is an esprit de corps.
I am not in any way attempting to suggest that these do not apply to WikiProject Medicine. This is my first visit here and I would not know. Although I note that hard-nosed external commentators speak well of the project.
I think that the major difficulty in comparing is that this project deals with information which changes in real time. MilHist deals with things where changes to the established "facts" usually evolve quite slowly, if they evolve at all. Once I have a FAC promoted, it is done. I suspect that this is rather less the case around here. Which will inevitably mean that editor time is taken away from working on new topics to maintaining the currency of the existing articles. I don't think that this is a fault or a flaw or a problem. To a large extent it is an inevitable outcome of the different subject areas.
Gog the Mild (talk) 18:33, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Addendum. It was only last October that I gave a little help to Almaty in heaving Digital media use and mental health over the line to FA status. (I realise that this is not tagged as of interest to this project.) So the occasional article in the broad area of health is still being promoted, even if not medicine ones. Gog the Mild (talk) 19:26, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I echo Gog's comments. To me, our A-Class review process (and its associated awards system) is what really sets us up for high achievement at FA, but it also reinforces the collegial attitude within the project. Our A-Class is close to FA, but there is a focus on the technical content rather than MOS and readability issues, something that would be of obvious benefit for WPMED. One relatively recent innovation of our ACR process is to include an explicit source review, where sources and controversial statements are challenged and discussed. This has resulted in a step change in the quality of our A-Class articles, and if you were going to adopt a ACR process, I would recommend including that. The fact that at least three people with a strong interest in and generally good knowledge of military history have looked over the article before FAC is a major advantage. But Gog is right, to my mind, medical matters are much more subject to changes via the publishing of new research than historical subjects, where change is rarely rapid except with current events. So the effort required in maintaining FAs in the WPMED space is naturally going to be greater than for most Milhist articles. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:22, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for weighing in! I think we must also mention that what makes the MILHIST ACR successful is that many editors reviewing there are also accomplished FA writers. The Medicine Project, on the other hand, has not prioritized feedback from those who have experience writing FAs; it has instead opted to go other directions, which at times has meant explicitly ignoring best practice on FAs. Unfortunately, external reviewers don't always understand the ins and outs of writing for an encyclopedia, and even some internal reviewers aren't well versed on FA requirements. MILHIST brings experienced FA reviewers to collaborate on all of its articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:31, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
In addition to what Gog and Peacemaker have said, obviously one of the things that work in Milhist's favor is the number of participants in the project. I don't know if anyone is keeping track, but I'd bet a not insignificant sum that we're the largest project, which is probably the single most important factor in how we're able to maintain our A-class system. Like any project, we have a core group that produces most of the higher-quality content, but because of our size, it's a large enough group that it's capable of sustaining the review process if we all help review other articles. In addition to the fact that military history tends to be the most popular historical genre, history in general also a significantly lower barrier of entry compared to other areas of study. I'd wager it took a bit more expertise to write Alzheimer's disease than it does for me to write articles about old warships.
One idea to help a MED review system get off the ground would be to partner with us (or any other project) to generate outside interest. I know we did that with WP:VG years ago. Parsecboy (talk) 12:21, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Sorry that I've just noticed this, having been off in my own little world these last couple of months. I'd like to say that I think that getting your own ACR process up and running is probably the most important thing that y'all as a project can do as editors can focus on getting the details right, in reasonably well-written English without sweating the steep-learning curve portions of the MOS or diving deep into cite formats, etc. I'm not sure how that could be accomplished, as ours was already active when I began to get serious about Wikipedia. Electing coordinators might be one way to do that, as ours have always had an informal brief to keep the process moving, but maybe not. What is needed is a cadre of people who can come together to devote time to getting the articles up to a set standard of technical reliability, perhaps with social and human costs of the disease/syndrome/condition covered in a section that isn't scrutinized as heavily? And then transferred to its own page if the section gets deep/large/comprehensive enough with a summary left behind? As a newbie I was attracted to our on-going ACRs as I could easily see the value added by the review process and I wanted some of that for my own articles, which definitely needed outside perspectives. And if I was going to consume some reviewer's time to get my own articles improved, it seemed only fair that I do the same for other people. Perhaps y'all can revive your ACRs with as few as three dedicated people all reviewing each other's articles, with the hope that your example will encourage other editors to participate. If you do that publicize it, make it prominent on the project page and invite editors from other projects to help out. They probably won't have the technical expertise, but they can at least help relieve the burden on the prose.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that the awards and contests were sometimes a motivator, but I don't think that they're a big factor in participation. I myself have been known to put lots of extra effort at times in contests to just assure victory, if you can believe it! I mean there's usually less than a dozen editors in our monthly writing contests, but our yearly assessment contests get quite a few more than that. I'm uncertain if that's because they consist mostly of gnoming work or not; it's quite possible that some editors are intimidated by the volume of work put out by our more prolific editors and chose to help out in some other way that requires less dedication.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:37, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

I want to say here there's a societal/professional expectation of historians to write. For them, writing an encyclopedic article is fairly second nature. This is pretty much what they specialize in. The end goal is the promulgation of historical knowledge. For pretty much every other topic, this societal/professional incentive isn't there. As a scientist, the skills required for me conduct research and publish scientific papers is fairly different than the skills required to write an encyclopedic article. While there is some overlap with my background as a science educator, there's still a huge difference between how/what I teach and what is needed for a Wikipedia article. Writing Wikipedia articles is harder. Much harder.

I also suspect that is true in medicine. The skills you have as a medical practitioner are (presumably) not easily transferable to that of a general encyclopedia writer. You could be the best damned physician in the world, and be just as stumped as anyone else when it comes to writing a general encyclopedic article. And while writing an article is relatively easy, writing one to the standards of an FA is a significant effort. And for many, they're just happy to write 'good enough' articles useful to most medical professional and students alongside scientifically literate people, and not worry about doing having to do a review of reviews and polish everything so everything is understandable to everyone in their extended family. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:54, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

What User:Gog the Mild said about history being "done", and science not, resonates with me. I think that the FA process is tuned for content that is fully understood, rather than content that is half-known and changing.
Two FACs stand out most in my memory. One was Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis in late 2010. It's moderately technical, and none of the reviewers knew anything about the subject matter, so it sailed through in three weeks without any significant difficulty. The other is Acne in early 2017. Everybody showed up with their personal POVs (e.g., is this a 100% medical subject, or does it matter than people with severe acne have trouble getting jobs?) and pet peeves. Everyone was convinced that their POV and pet peeves were the right ones, and nobody's mind was changed. Much of it was more painful than it should have been. We saw a bit of this idea that it's more important to have The Right™ sources (which almost nobody reads) than to write the sentences that precede them. Some of it was absurd, to the point of someone thinking we needed MEDRS-style sources to support a statement that Concealer exists. Our approach to this dispute was mostly 'tis/'tisn't arguing, and not by developing a shared understanding of whether Cosmetics are biomedical products. After more than two months of this kind of stuff, someone sensibly archived the FAC. In neither case do I see the FAC process contributing much in the end. Acne was moderately improved by it (especially if you count changes made after the FAC was closed), but the cost of those improvements to individual editors may have been higher than the benefits. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:04, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis did not "sail through without any significant difficulty". Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis/archive1 had quite a time, and came close to failing on good grounds. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Tourette syndrome is what "sailing through with no difficulty" looks like, and that was on the heels of MONTHS of medical and non-medical editors reviewing, fine-tuning and pointing out areas that lacked clarity. That is what is needed pre-FAC for medical topics, and it is similar to what happens at MILHIST A-class review.
I was not participating at FAC when Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Acne vulgaris/archive2 happened, but I would have argued for it to have been withdrawn sooner. Ill-prepared articles cannot be fixed at FAC; withdrawing them sooner helps avoid the unnecessary. FAC is not the place for sorting out the ill-prepared, and WAID is right that the pain in those cases is unnecessary and unhelpful. In all such cases, extended high-level review from WPMED in advance is helpful, but it should be complemented by bringing in non-medical FA writers for review as well, as those people can point out where there is too much jargon or a lack of clarity for non-medical writers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:25, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
Ok, my FAC experience is now a decade old but the principles are the same. I don't think you should view the FAC nomination process as a place to work on an article till it passes. Preparation is the key and if you are getting significant knock-back at FAC then you've failed. The ketogenic diet article passed without difficulty. I'm not the fastest writer and it took me a long time to gather the necessary sources and finish something comprehensive that I was happy with. I got some early talk page review comments from Graham Colm. Then I put it through GA and was lucky to get Tim Vickers to review. Then I put it up for peer reivew and got Eubulides, Maralia, Awadewit, Graham Colm, Fvasconcellos and Mmagdalene722 to comment and edit. I asked Awadewit to copyedit it for me. She was one of our finest article writers and much in demand, so I had to be patient. Then I asked the lead researcher in the field, Eric Kossoff from Johns Hopkins Hospital, to review it and he gave helpful comments (offline) that I incorporated. Then, only after thousands of words of review and hundreds of edits by a team of editors each talented enough to produce their own FAs, did I nominate it at FAC. So I agree with Sandy, it is months of teamwork that will get a FAC, of editors who wouldn't dream of revert warring with each other, who respect each other and show that by being critical of the text and encouraging of the person.
The cares more about having citations to the right sources than having the right sentences preceding them comment is so so true but not restricted to FAC at all and quite deeply embedded here today. FA was originally called "Brilliant Prose". Who wants confused, barely literate prose with MEDRS-compliant citations? Not our readers, who can find high quality professionally written medical content elsewhere in 2020. Don't you want to write brilliant prose? If you love a subject, aim to get an FA in it. -- Colin°Talk 17:15, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

WPMED HistoryEdit

Last year, WhatamIdoing said:

We used to be focused on writing brilliant articles filled with precisely delimited claims and superb sources. Then we went through an anti-woo phase: almost anything's okay, as long as it hurts the spammers and alt-med proponents ... Now we seem to be talking more about issues of health policy, which is a more approximate subject area with a focus on practicalities, like approximate prices. Which is naturally going to frustrate both of the previous groups, because it's not up to the standards of the first group, and practicalities sometimes don't produce the proper anti-woo signals.

But the "anti-woo" focus is not the only factor that led to a decline in participation by WPMED at the Featured article level. Other issues can be explored by the other frequent medical FA writers and reviewers (@Colin, Graham Beards, and Jfdwolff:).

WikiProject Medicine History
  • 2004, WikiProject Clinical Medicine started by Jfdwolff
  • 2005, November, WP MED started by Knowledge Seeker (talk · contribs · logs) [3]
  • 2006, by year-end,[4] WP MED has an active list of members tasks, stub sorting, a portal, a weekly collaboration {{CurrentMCOTW}}, news & announcements {{MCOTWannounce}}, and a very active [5] Featured content and GA page. {{Medicine trophy box}}
  • 2006, Summer, Manual of style (MEDMOS) started and refined by Stevenfruitsmaak (talk · contribs · logs) and Davidruben (talk · contribs · logs)
  • 2006, November, Identifying reliable sources in medicine (MEDRS) started as a proposed guideline [6] by Colin (talk · contribs · logs)
  • 2007, Spring, MEDMOS is accepted as a guideline [7] with efforts by Colin (talk · contribs · logs), SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs · logs), Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs · logs) and copyediting by Tony1 (talk · contribs · logs)
  • 2007, Refinements to MEDRS [8] by Colin (talk · contribs · logs), Nbauman (talk · contribs · logs), SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs · logs), MastCell (talk · contribs · logs), Davidruben (talk · contribs · logs)
  • 2008, Nmg20 (talk · contribs · logs) and Eubulides (talk · contribs · logs) join in [9]
  • 2008, September, WP:MEDRS, promoted to guideline [10]
  • Around 2012, beginning with student editing drives by WMF,[11] a switch to an external focus, away from focus on article improvement on English Wikipedia. A once vibrant community, WPMED has not produced a featured article since 2015, and most of the current FAs are out of compliance with WIAFA, no longer well maintained. Guidelines MEDRS and MEDMOS began to be used as bludgeons to force a certain structure into articles and leads, and to whack alt-med proponents, alienating some of the very people who helped write those guidelines. When these trends started, many FA writers stopped trying to produce top content.
  • By 2018, WPMED's switch to external focus, away from development of English Wikipedia content, was more noticeable: no more collaboration of the week, no article improvement drive or tracking, FA and GA box completely gone, internal content improvement drives replaced by partners, translations, offline apps, and Off-Wiki partners [12] with focus on only the leads of articles, while content in the bodies of articles is extensively neglected.
  • 2020, WPMED focus is noticeably external, leads and articles forced to a certain structure (via misapplication of the very guidelines developed by most prolific FA writers) and maintained at the expense of developing content in the bodies of articles: Medicine#Partners
    In the curent environment, MEDMOS and MEDRS guidelines are applied as if they were policy, and policies (WP:NOT and WP:V on pricing) are ignored as if they were guideline. Since FA writers must uphold policy and guideline correctly, this has led to alienation of FA writers and no more featured content. Almost all of the current medical FAs were written between 2008 and 2015; almost none are currently maintained. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:39, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

A personal historyEdit

SandyGeorgia — This is very clearly your history of WPMED, and one I which I feel a need to strongly distance myself from. The end-goal of WP:MED is certainly not the production of Featured Articles, but the production of an entire corpus of articles which are "decent". I'd much rather have 1000 articles that we can be reasonably certain aren't full of holes and erroneous statements than 100 which are "Featured"-quality.
I find it is utterly important that this be communicated — because I don't think it's a good idea to promote work towards FAs to new editors, or frankly anyone apart from those who are already involved in the process. I'd prefer as few WP:MED editors as possible engaging in the process. Carl Fredrik talk 15:52, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

I appreciate your confirmation that you and a small handful validate the history as I present it: WPMED is no longer focused on quality content. I would be so pleased if our GAs were not as full of holes as our neglected FAs are. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:57, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
"WPMED is no longer focused on quality content", that's trolling behaviour at best @SandyGeorgia:. WPMED is focused on quality content, just not FA-tracked content. Taking 100 articles from Stub to C, Start to B, C to B, etc... is arguable a more substantial improvement to the quality of Wikipedia, than bringing an article from B to FA. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:02, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Seconded, and if there has been any shift in focus I can only applaud it, because it is more likely to be useful to humanity writ large.
What on the other hand seems clear to me from your list of editors SandyGeorgia is that you represent a very small minority of editors, many of which don't engage the medical community at all.
There is nothing stopping you from workings on FAs, as long as it is not to the detriment of other content. But it must be accepted as a valid position to simply ignore FAs, and not be smeared for it. Carl Fredrik talk 16:07, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Do I need three pings to a page I follow? I would invite both of you to work up the quality of some of our GAs, since FA does not appeal to you. Improving ANY article is A Good Thing, and there are holes at every level. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:11, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia — What I don't understand is how you seem to be implying that improving content isn't what each and every WP:MED-editor is doing already. We're working to improve quality of articles and remove holes in our coverage all the time. I'm still strongly supportive of the idea that what is most useful is to work on articles without regard to any FA or GA-processes at all.
That you find the FA-process important does not give you the right to denigrate others who don't. You're going into this with the attitude that "what I'm doing is the only thing that matters", and that a collective move to ignore that process while still trying to improve content is de facto a deterioration. I'm saying that it isn't, and trying to argue that the process in fact locks articles away from being improved by more than 1-2 very experienced editors. The FA-process is elitist and makes Wikipedia worse, and you attitude is making that abundantly clear. I would go so far as to posit that the lack of maintenance on medical FAs is symptomatic of their elitist nature. While it might work in a non-changing field, FA-status actively harms medical articles. Carl Fredrik talk 16:20, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Evo asked: However I'd definitely support a focus on FA content (both maintenance of existing and promotion of new). Is anyone able to provide a short summary on how & why Milhist has been so successful in its content quality focus? It might be good to invite a few of them to write a post here summarising learning points that could be applied to medical content. Were there any significant changes around 2009 (other than the changes observed wikipedia-wide) within the MED community focus that lead to the FA plateau? T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:10, 15 March 2020 (UTC) You seem to be taking an answer to a direct query farther than helpful. Meanwhile, there is non-MEDRS content prominently placed over at 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, so I suggest it is a strange time for this undue concern. There is work to be done here, and obviously I am not going to address a comment like "FA-status actively harms medical articles", because you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:52, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
That is once again a fallacious argument, and further whataboutism wrt that article (which I am currently engaged in).
That FA-status can harm articles by deterring editors is not solely opinion, but something I can back by argument and which is testable. It is certainly not "my own facts", that is gaslighting.
While we can't put it to the test in a double-blind trial, but we can look retrospectively and see if FAs are edited less. Your take of the opposite being self-evidently true is no more "fact", and is frankly more opinionated than what I said because you're not even presenting counterarguments (spare the 'ad hominem'). Carl Fredrik talk 17:07, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
You may have the last word. (Be sure to have a look at how many of WPMED's FAs AND GAs are unnecessarily semi-protected ... I recently questioned one, for example.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:11, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Very interesting point, something that should certainly be looked into. I would support a review of all of those protects. Carl Fredrik talk 17:17, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I'd be more than happy to remove protection from any of those medical articles on simple request from either of you, on the understanding that you would let me know if vandalism suddenly increased, so that I could restore protection. --RexxS (talk) 02:04, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

I'd love for all of us to have a conversation about what the group would like to accomplish during the next couple of years, but I question whether this is the month to be having that conversation, with all of the coronavirus articles needing extra attention.

If you're interested in the subject, then please do think over the subject. I could suggest a few questions (e.g., Is it more important to get potentially good content in, or to get potentially bad content out? Do we add biomedical information and leave the rest [e.g., content about how disabilities affect school or work experiences] for someone else, or do we want to write comprehensive articles ourselves? Many okay-ish articles or fewer excellent articles? Which articles?), but I think the thing to do is to think about what you want for a few weeks, and be ready to share your vision later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:07, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Top level anti-woo articlesEdit

Another thing I would add about the "anti-woo" factor. Bringing delusional parasitosis to the best level attainable is a FAR MORE EFFECTIVE way of dealing with the woo factor [13] than endless and unproductive discussion at Talk:Morgellons. The best defense is a good offense. I saw this very clearly a decade ago when talk page brawls were all the norm at MMR vaccine controversy. I ignored the mess on talk and set about to make the article as tightly written and sourced as possible. Expanding that article accomplished much more than arguing on talk with quacks and trolls can. [14] These days, WPMED is more focused on anti-woo battleground than simply producing the best content possible, which generally answers the woo factor. Hint, hint. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:00, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Different strokes for different blokes, as they say. Both are needed and contribute to improvements. It's good if both styles are in the same person. But there's nothing wrong with focusing on removing woo either. If you want to know why some people are more focused on removing woo than writing articles, it's simply that it's much easier to identify and remove woo. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:59, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
True, but ultimately, arguing anti-woo takes more time than writing a quality article. I rewrote delusional parasitosis to updated sources in one day, and in the process, found answers to some of the Woo arguments at Morgellons. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:04, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Not in my experience. Remove the woo and that takes care of 80%+ of it with a link to WP:RS/WP:FRINGE or similar. If people re-introduce it, ask people to follow WP:RS/WP:MEDRS and to take it to the talk page/WP:RSN/WP:FRINGEN if they disagree. That takes care of another 15%. That leaves a 5% that requires heavier engagement.
As for how much time it takes, that all depends on how you measure your time, but especially how you measure your return on invested time. I'm entirely fine spending half an hour to purge content cited through Pacific Journal of Energy Medicine or some other nonsense journal. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:38, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
In the cases of Morgellons or anti-vaxxers, I measure it in "did I give them the information that might sink in some day and help address their delusion". That is priceless and immeasurable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:46, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Milestones and targetsEdit

Although the MILHIST milestone targets might not necessarily translate completely, there are a couple of things from other projects that might be useful: The /Article alerts summary (collapsed below) has been quite useful in WP:MCB and WP:GEN for heeping ppl informed on current items. We had it on the main wikiproject pages but for WP:MED, it might be more logical at the top of the talkpage?

Extended content

Did you know

Articles for deletion

(16 more...)

Proposed deletions

Categories for discussion

(162 more...)

Templates for discussion

Redirects for discussion

(5 more...)

A-Class review

Good article nominees

(3 more...)

Featured article reviews

Requests for comments

Peer reviews

Requested moves

(6 more...)

Articles to be merged

(48 more...)

Articles to be split

(3 more...)

Articles for creation

(4 more...)

I've not seen much info on best ways to attract new users to submit and review FAs, but growing that community may be more effective than trying to refocus existing editors who have their own valuable specialisations (e.g. readability, lead optimisation, partnerships, accessibility, dissemination, translation).

Again at WP:MCB and WP:GEN, one of the most productive periods was a pair of blitzes on enzyme than gene pages which saw 3-10 editors go through those articles top-to-bottom. The GA/FA framework was useful for front page visibility as well as keeping better track of them as high-quality articles. However it's been difficult to recapture that energy with subsequently floated ideas (e.g. genetic engineering and CRISPR-cas9, but I don't have a good explanation for why.

Another GA/FA-focused community is WP:WikiProject Tree of Life. They've got a great newsletter organised by Enwebb that includes highlighting these and raising their profile and awareness within that editor community. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 10:39, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

New medical FACEdit

This article appeared at FAC last month. Noting the conversations above about MILHIST collaboration, when this article appeared last month, [[Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Leptospirosis/archive1, it did not appropriately use recent MEDRS sources. It has again appeared at FAC without, as far as I can tell, being vetted by WPMED. This is an example of where better WPMED collaboration might be helpful. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:00, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

It could also be taken as an example of WPMED resignation because it is extremely unlikely to be promoted — and getting involved is seen as a waste of time……
I wrote this before seeing that the discussion had been closed and archived a few days ago
Carl Fredrik talk 15:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 & Talk:Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 require reviewEdit

Thanks, folk. I don't have too much time to do so and it's somewhat beyond my knowledge. --Reciprocater (talk) 13:23, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

I've pinged Graham Beards to the question about whether ACE2 and ACE2 receptor are the same thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:50, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Thank you!! --Reciprocater (talk) 16:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Continued IIEdit

the encoded protein (ACE2) is a functional receptor for the spike glycoprotein of the human coronavirus HCoV-NL63 and the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus). -NCBI.[1]

Human coronavirus NL63

Human coronavirus NL63 or HCoV-NL63 is a species of coronavirus that was identified in late 2004 in a seven-month-old child with bronchiolitis in the Netherlands.[2] The infecting virus is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which enters its host cell by the ACE2 receptor.[1][3]

I saw ACE2 receptor had been redirected to Angiotensin_II_receptor. Is it a correct redirection? Regards,


  1. ^ a b "ACE2 angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 - Gene". NCBI. 2020-02-28. Retrieved 2020-03-21. The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the angiotensin-converting enzyme family of dipeptidyl carboxydipeptidases and has considerable homology to human angiotensin 1 converting enzyme. This secreted protein catalyzes the cleavage of angiotensin I into angiotensin 1-9, and angiotensin II into the vasodilator angiotensin 1-7. The organ- and cell-specific expression of this gene suggests that it may play a role in the regulation of cardiovascular and renal function, as well as fertility. In addition, the encoded protein is a functional receptor for the spike glycoprotein of the human coronavirus HCoV-NL63 and the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus).
  2. ^ Abdul-Rasool S, Fielding BC (May 2010). "Understanding Human Coronavirus HCoV-NL63". The Open Virology Journal. 4: 76–84. doi:10.2174/1874357901004010076. PMC 2918871. PMID 20700397.
  3. ^ Fehr AR, Perlman S (2015). Maier HJ, Bickerton E, Britton P (eds.). "Coronaviruses: an overview of their replication and pathogenesis". Methods in Molecular Biology. Springer. 1282: 1–23. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-2438-7_1. ISBN 978-1-4939-2438-7. PMC 4369385. PMID 25720466.

--Reciprocater (talk) 14:21, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

@Reciprocater: btw, Bentham Open journals are dodgy. Best to avoid, unless something like a discovery source who was confirmed/endorsed by others. Which may well be the case here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:55, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: Thank you for the reminder! --Reciprocater (Talk) 04:38, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Follicular cellEdit

Hi guys, if you're interested in cells, could you please have a look at the proposal here ? Your opinion would be appreciated. Thanks! Dr. Vogel (talk) 14:17, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

commented--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 13:08, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Huntington's disease FAREdit

I have nominated Huntington's disease for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. buidhe 22:12, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Buidhe, thank you--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 20:19, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

MEDRS in a time of pandemicEdit

Can I solicit input at Talk:Coronavirus_disease_2019#Forks_focusing_on_early_research? Bondegezou (talk) 10:56, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Also of interest to this wikiproject may be this FTN thread: WP:FTN § Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 15:37, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Another RfC on COVID transmissionEdit

Thoughts Talk:2019–20_coronavirus_pandemic#RfC_on_second_sentence_regarding_spread

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:14, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

commented--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 13:50, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

RfD notification: NCoV (SARS)Edit

Dear project members, your input at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 March 23#NCoV (SARS) would be appreciated. --BDD (talk) 18:42, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Draft:Hyperbolastic FunctionsEdit

The page Draft:Hyperbolastic Functions seems purely mathematical but it suggests the topic has a wide range of applications, mostly in medicine. Please see if it possibly is in the scope of this WikiProject. --CiaPan (talk) 19:06, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

was declined[15]--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 14:13, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
User:Robert McClenon, regardless of whether it's notable (=gets a separate article), that content belongs somewhere on Wikipedia. If you don't think it deserves its own separate article, could you please see about merging it to a larger subject? Good content shouldn't be left rotting in the draft space, where readers can't benefit from it. (Of course, at this stage, User:Dwilus could just WP:MOVE the page to the mainspace without bothering WP:AFC anyway, and then anyone who thought it wasn't notable would have to prove it at WP:AFD.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:29, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
User:WhatamIdoing - Hmmm. If the content ought to be in article space, then the least complicated way that an editor can do that is to move it to draft space, either by accepting it or just by moving it, and the script performs some useful services. In that case, a discussion about whether to merge into another article can take place afterwards. The argument that it belongs in article space somewhere is an argument for acceptance, and wasn't previous taken into account. I think that I will resubmit it and accept it shortly. This is a consideration for reviewers to take into account. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:55, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Accepted. If it should be merged into other articles, it can be merged into other articles. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:34, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

I just tried to suggest you, participants of the WikiProject, might want to consider putting the template {{WikiProject Medicine}} at the page's talk.   CiaPan (talk) 20:04, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

New feature - pageviews - now can include redirectsEdit

Wikipedia is important for sharing health information because lots of people read Wikipedia. Everyone here please remember that, because people who are not Wikipedia editors do not know this!

At meta:traffic reporting there is documentation about how Wikipedia can measure pageviews. meta:Pageviews Analysis is the tool which is available through the "history" tab of any page. A shortcoming of this tool is that previously, it could not count redirects. "Pageviews" has several variations for running variations of the one-article report. Previously, "redirect views" was a tool for counting redirected views, but there has always been a demand for people to search for one article and simply get a total.

Now we can get easy reports of total traffic to a given Wikipedia article including redirects. Thanks user:MusikAnimal (WMF) for adding this feature.

Everyone check it out, applied to 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic for the period 1 January - today

In the context of COVID-19 people are going to have all the usual criticism of Wikipedia, saying in various ways that Wikipedia does not matter. If you hear this, the response is that we have the data to demonstrate that Wikipedia is a low cost way to deliver information to large numbers of people who need it. All the other communication options rely on global-scale investment in commercial communications or the extraordinary cost of negotiations to get special access to unique communication channels. Wikipedia also has the advantage of transparency when various governments around the world are right now behaving badly and themselves promoting misinformation.

Advocates of high quality source material have a great ally in Wikipedia and we have the evidence to show that our content reaches a large part of the informatio-seeking public. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:24, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Thanks User:Bluerasberry. This is so much easier :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:19, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Glad to hear this feature is well-received! Re ...the actual number of people arriving at this article: I should clarify the definition of a pageview. This is basically each request to the page, not the number of people. In most cases editors are going to trigger at least 2 pageviews -- once on the first view, and again after saving. 36 million is still a lot, though! :) MusikAnimal talk 02:41, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Non-wikipedian epidemiologist/virologist input for COVID19 articlesEdit

Hi, A question came up within WikiJournals about if/how we might assist with the COVID articles on Wikipedia. Some possible points:

  • Could invite external peer reviews of core COVID articles (would be of a specific oldid but would likely be relatively rapid - would that be useful?)
  • Could invite external authors to contribute articles on corona-related topics that are still stub/start (any topic ideas)?
  • Could invite external contributors to help out on the core covid articles (but they'd need significant MEDMOS guidance)
  • We've previously experimented with 'partner articles' that go into more detail than appropriate on a WP page (similar to Gene wiki reviews, example) would one be useful for any covid-related topics?

We're having a meeting at 7pm UTC 25 March 2020. Let me know if you'd like to drop in on the meeting itself and I'll also check back here to raise any points discussed here. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 00:03, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Also posted at Talk:COVID19 and Talk:WikiJournal_User_Group. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 00:03, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

thank you Thomas,I believe this would be helpful(however as you know more opinions are needed from other medical editors) thank you as always--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 14:15, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
I hope some WP Medicine folks could participate in this. Liz Read! Talk! 16:13, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

We just had the WikiJournals meeting regarding this and people seemed keen to be able to assist with the parts we have experience in (academia-wikipedia interactions). I'll put the minutes on-wiki at this link the next 48 hours. An additional idea that was raised was hosting translations of journal articles (and getting those translations checked for accuracy) since such items wouldn't necessarily have a logical hoe on Wikipedia itself. Is the translations taskforce of WP:MED still very active? T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 02:11, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

I have started the article on COVID-19 in pregnancy, and would like to co-ordinate with an expert in obstetrics. The translation task force for COVID-19 has been started here. --Netha (talk) 14:21, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Biopsychosocial model and possible undue weight, puffery, and non-MEDRS sourcingEdit

Hi everyone,

I saw this come up at the fringe theories noticeboard and felt I should mention it here. Here is the discussion. Crossroads -talk- 15:36, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

I just want to point out that when the first sentence of an article includes the word "interdisciplinary", then using some non-MEDRS sources is entirely appropriate. Medical journals and medical textbooks are not the only possible sources of good information, especially when the subject is, according to its own definition, not entirely medical. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:04, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

I made or improved wikidata queries of endocrinologists.Edit

They are dicoverers of named syndromes. In Wikidata, there are many queries about their academic articles. Please link these queries about their academic articles to these authors. --Sharouser (talk) 17:02, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

@Sharouser: Thanks for showcasing Wikidata. Right now there is not much overlap in participation between English Wikipedia WikiProject Medicine and d:Wikidata:WikiProject Medicine. If anyone wants to engage in Wikidata I am down to join.
What you are discussing is "author disambiguation" and there are tools for that.
If you resolve this one then the example is less powerful, but look at
I am happy to talk this through but probably Wikidata is the better place. There is no documentation for this to read. Someone has to tell you. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:09, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

current outbreakEdit

Help:Wikipedia editing for medical expertsEdit

Hello, I have moved a medical editing cheat sheet that a few from this group collaborated on to the help section (linked in the title of this section). If anyone has any more ideas, wants to help improve this, or wants to share this, that would be great. JenOttawa (talk) 23:59, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

very well done, thank you--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 14:55, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
Wow! That is an excellent guide Jen. Thank you. :0)   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) (I'm a man—traditional male pronouns are fine.) 15:04, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Useful table, too difficult to editEdit

See Talk:List_of_countries_by_hospital_beds#Useful_data_from_WHO/WB. I found a reliable source (WHO/WB statistics) but editing this table seems like a pain. I tried code and visual editor and neither makes it easy. Is there any way to make it friendly? (I tried adding data for India from 2011 but I cannot figure out how to easily add a row, need to edit 40+ lines of code separately...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:02, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Piotrus, the reason you're having difficulty with editing it is because it's not a plain old table, which would work well in the visual editor. Instead, it's a stack of {{LCHB}} templates wrapped inside a wikitext table. I think the "easy" way to add information to that table-template hybrid will be to ask User:Bungle (who wrote the template) to do it for you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:56, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for ping. I'll reply on the article talk page. Bungle (talkcontribs) 12:56, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

New medical editorsEdit

Please join me in welcoming WhinyTheYounger to editing medical topics; they have their hands full with HIV/AIDS in China, per this Teahouse thread. Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:42, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Thank you! I've tried to stay away from really any medical details on HIV/AIDS in particular, apart from epidemiological stuff I could find. I'm no expert (I focus more on public policy and history), but as that Teahouse thread and the Talk page for HIV/AIDS in China mention, I discovered the article was almost wholly plagiarized when editing it and decided someone had to rework it. Any tips, suggestions, corrections, etc. of course much appreciated! WhinyTheYounger (talk) 21:04, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Welcome aboard WhinyTheYounger! :0)   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) (I'm a man—traditional male pronouns are fine.) 15:06, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
Welcome! --Reciprocater (Talk) 18:11, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Covid-19 & ibuprofen: we can neither confirm or deny...Edit

Wow, there is a lot of social misinformation about the status about covid-19 & ibuprofen. I expect that some of it is seeping into Wikipedia right now. I know it is tough to stay on top of the current pandemic, & I thank you all for your work.

I would ask that medical editors please be on the lookout for MEDRS about covid-19 & ibuprofen. Right now, the following seem apropos, at least in response to those citing something like 10.1136/bmj.m1086:

But there is also this source, which to this non-medical person seems to say, "it depends" & "it's complicated".

Peaceray (talk) 23:43, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

I think the NHS sums it up well.[16] Alexbrn (talk) 02:39, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Thank you Alexbrn, that's a nice pithy summary from NHS. I added it to Coronavirus disease 2019#Management. I made some other edits in the same section (diff) if you all have time to review my edits I would appreciate it. Thanks!   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) (I'm a man—traditional male pronouns are fine.) 23:48, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Here's an interview with an epidemiologist and drug safety expert from the University of British Columbia that corroborates the NHS and offer an explanation of where this information came from. I also saw a TikTok video (don't judge) of a physician explaining that the advice on avoiding ibuprofen is based on a theory derived from an understanding of how the drug works on a cellular level (something about ACE2... forgive me, i'm a medical librarian with a humanities background). Here's an explanation from VICE: Mcbrarian (talk) 13:34, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

PUI on AfCEdit

Hello. I created a draft about PUI (Person or Patient Under Investigation). There's no entry about it so I made one. Is it worthy for Wikipedia? I don't know... yet. So feel free to comment or edit. Cheers! —Allenjambalaya (talk) 02:46, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

have approved review--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 14:29, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Dire need for centralized references to open-source ventilator technology and projectsEdit

I begun this page (draft), and have several people willing to help me advance its content.

The main text is taken directly from the open-source ventilator section of

When/if the draft is approved, we can appropriately edit the Ventilator page to link to the opensource page.

Whatever assistance/editing you can provide would be greatly appreciated, since my time is limited as I'm actually taking care of a patient on a ventilator. :)— Preceding unsigned comment added by Brandingularity (talkcontribs)

Open-source ventilator (however on a prior occasion the it was deleted per page info)--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 01:48, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

RFC on pharmaceutical drug pricesEdit

The RFC has concluded. Here is my interpretation. Drug price information should nearly always not be included in the lead. The method used, of creating drug prices from raw database sources fails Wikipedia:Verifiability. The presentation of the price for one particular formulation of the drug, often from very few suppliers, claiming this to be generally representative of all formulations of a drug, an entire world region (e.g. developing world), and all possible indications of use of the drug is false and misleading to our readers. Were those claims to be reworded to be specific, they would fail WP:WEIGHT. This applies no matter where a price appears in the article. The inclusion of price in the body, should that even be necessary to make a point, requires extensive discussion in secondary sources, which is what WP:NOTPRICE has always insisted. Prices should not be added to info boxes.

I see there has been discussion at {{Infobox drug}} about including GoodRX prices and/or links. There is no consensus for this, and I'm sure the wider community would be against infobox links to a commercial US-only price-comparison service. From what I understand, there are approximately three people in a population of 300 million in the US who have not heard of or use GoodRX, so there lacks any encyclopaedic value in an international project. Finding the cheapest local price for your medicines is not the job of an encyclopaedia.

I would be interested to know what plans those editors who added drug prices to our articles... Doc James ... have for their removal in compliance with the RFC conclusion. I hope they will acknowledge the community result and desist from adding prices to medical articles except in the most unusual and non-controversial cases. -- Colin°Talk 18:42, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Colin, I agree this is the best place to hold a discussion, but before continuing the discussion here, it would be wise to hear from Barkeep49 if the restriction that all discussion of drug pricing was confined to a single remit, WT:MEDMOS, is relaxed now that the RFC is closed. Can drug pricing RFC followup be discussed here instead, or does it have to stay back at WT:MEDMOS ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:17, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes now that the RfC is complete I don't think the moratorium or requirement of discussion at a single venue apply though MOSMED discussion is still probably best held there, but that's just my personal opinion. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:36, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Barkeep49, the only reason the price discussion was ever on WT:MEDMOS was because a, now blocked, editor added price advocacy statements to WP:MEDMOS and edit warred over them. The inclusion of price in an article isn't a MOS issue, and though the prices had been inserted into the lead (without any mention of cost in the body) in violation of WP:LEAD, what goes in the lead or the body isn't a medical matter. Drug prices have previously been discussed on this page, and most of the issues that led to the RFC result are general core policy matters, not a question of style (i.e how to format text). The discussion is over anyway, and what matters now, is what members of this project are going to do about the result. Hence, it's a project matter. -- Colin°Talk 20:48, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Concerns about timing of this discussion due to the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

  • I don't think this discussion will be given much attention right now in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be wise to avoid drastic actions of any kind until WP:MED-editors are able to return to their normal duties and interests. The pandemic is currently, and quite understandably, taking a disproportionate amount of time from editors here.
    Carl Fredrik talk 19:22, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure that is broadly true; some editors have more time than usual right now, because of stay-at-home, and others have given up on the COVID articles, as most of them are being edited in irretrievably hopeless ways, MEDRS out the door, and mostly politics. They are being mostly edited by non-medical editors. That is, I don't see the need to hold off this discussion, which is not likely to be very complicated considering the RFC close. But I am worried about where to hold the discussion. CFCF, could you please refrain from adding excess markup to your talk page posts? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:28, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
      • I think there is going to be a wide variation on the impact of the pandemic on different editors, ranging from folks like Soupvector (who I know has been the Covid-19 inpatient attending for some time and expects not to be relieved until sometime next week) to many students who will have time on their hands for the rest of the academic year. Jenny is managing to do some editing, despite having to home-school her three kids and work at the same time. James is getting ready for a massive upturn in his work demands for obvious reasons. I'm really lucky in that it hasn't affected me much, but I think we'll have to accept that not all of the regulars will be responding quickly to on-wiki events. --RexxS (talk) 21:09, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
        • I have to second RexxS's observation here: most clinicians will be preparing for a massively increased work-load, with many non-clinician MDs and nurses likely also facing having to care for COVID-19 patients. So your point, SandyGeorgia, about it not being "broadly true" is all the more reason to avoid discussion right now. MD/RN-editors are less likely to respond and the outcome might therefore be severely biased, discounting their views.
          My initial point was more about how this discussion wouldn't be prioritized in the current editing climate which is focused towards COVID-articles, but the above is an even more pressing reason to shelve the issue for the time being, in order to avoid disruption.
          Carl Fredrik talk 21:34, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
        • I agree with RexxS that there will be a wide variation, and that "not all of the regulars will be responding quickly". That will be the new normal for, likely, a long time to come, so while it is good reason to allow more time for discussions to unfold, and wait longer for responses, it doesn't mean we stop discussing or stop editing. Many will recall that quite a few participants in the formulation of the RFC were absent for days to weeks at a time, even before the pandemic; we don't stop regular editing because some editors are less available, although I agree we need to allow much more time for responses, and before implementing anything. No, people carrying on with their regular editing, as they always have, do not have to stop doing so.
          At any rate, Seppi333 was asking on James' talk page what to do about the infobox for drug prices, and it seems that we can give them that answer (no prices in infoboxes). The database sources are not supported per WP:V. What else needs to be decided now, besides who is going to get all of the 530 database prices out of the articles? Can someone do that by bot, or do we need to manually go through all 530?
          CFCF, could you please stop adding excess markup to your posts? Most of us can read without the added emphasis. (do you see how irritating it is to be Told We Must Pay Attention To Certain Text Because It Is Bolded, Underlined or All Capped?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:48, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
I ask you not to comment on the format of my discussion where I highlight the most salient points, a practice which I believe to be very much in line with the WP:Talk page guidelines. Carl Fredrik talk 10:53, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
You have been asked to stop. Similarly, please stop personalizing discussions: focus on content. Separately, please stop adding non-neutral headings to discussions. A neutral heading for this discussion would look more like "Timing of discussion"; it is not helpful to add your personal opinions to headings. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:44, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
You added a non-neutral header and move my comment SandyGeorgia, implying that it was my personal "RFC interpretation", cutting it off from the necessary context. As for the other things you accuse me of, it's disingenuous, untrue and WP:UNCIVIL.
We must be able to have disagreement, even disagree about personal actions and edits without calling it personalization and resorting to ad hominem, which is what you are doing when you question the format or language in my edits.
That's just a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Carl Fredrik talk 17:05, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Uncertainties about bias // ImplementationEdit

I'm not sure what sort of bias could be produced by not having people with a physician's or nursing license involved. The result of the RFC begins with the sentence "Editors are generally opposed to inclusion of prices in the lede." I can't really think of how, e.g., a good editor who is a nurse and an equally good editor who is not a nurse would interpret that sentence differently. AFAICT the only "discussion" to be had at this stage is whether any editors want to WP:VOLUNTEER to implement the RFC's conclusion in a systematic, organized manner, or not (NB: "or not" includes letting any interested individual volunteer do it all himself/herself, doing it haphazardly, doing it when a given page is being overhauled anyway, etc. It doesn't include rejecting the RFC's conclusions or trying to have the discussion about whether it's a good idea all over again).

As for my own opinion on Colin's actual question, the RFC's conclusions ought to be implemented in the affected articles. Separately, someday I'll take them into account when I propose some content about prices for MEDMOS (and maybe also a sentence or two for MEDRS). But I don't actually care whether we organize the process of updating these articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:09, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing, I'm not implying that you would be intentionally biased in any way. But the very nature of systemic bias ensures that we do not know how it would affect us. I am pointing out that the current time is very exceptional, and that large-scale edits or discussion on other topics should be avoided, if there is likelyhood a large portion of ordinary editors will not be able to engage in discussion. Wikipedia isn't about "snagging consensus" as soon as one sees the opportunity, and we would certainly be better off if we did not have to redo any discussion because of even the accusation of a one-sided consensus. Carl Fredrik talk 09:30, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I think we should create a list of drugs that have notable high-cost issues and we can together all examine if there are problems surrounding the presentation or sourcing of prices on those drugs that need MEDMOS/MEDRS guidance. It may be that editors are doing a reasonable job with that, or existing general guidelines already inform, or the few problematic articles can be resolved without the need for further legislation in a guideline page. As I noted at the RFC, I think we have focused too much on a dollar.cent price figure and not enough on providing encyclopaedic information to our readers about general comments on affordability, availability and relative cost vs other treatments, which are probably best made at the disease article's treatment section. So I'd caution against specifically dealing with "price" at MEDMOS. The word "price" has us reaching for the $ symbol on the keyboard, and perhaps mostly we don't need it to inform our readers.
As for volunteering, someone once said "If you want a job done well, do it yourself". So I guess... -- Colin°Talk 09:04, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
And Colin — I would point out that regardless of the outcome, major editing across many articles, should be avoided if there is any suspicion that it would be controversial. This isn't about "restricting" what people can edit about, but more about advanced warning that major revisions at a time when consensus is difficult to gauge, can be very disruptive if we later have to revert all of it: because it went too far; or because it was judged to misinterpret consensus at a later stage.
We should always strive for the broadest possible consensus, which is not possible at the moment, and this issue being a non emergency, it can clearly wait — whereas a lot of other things can't.
I implore you to be cautious and avoid major changes across multiple articles right now. It looks like you're going to get what you wanted, but without room for discussion right now, there is serious risk of overshooting. This is directed to you, or to anyone involved, because I don't want anyone to come back and say "no one said anything" or "I didn't know". The COVID-pandemic is an exceptional situation for WP:MED, and major changes to our body of other articles would benefit from being put on hold. Carl Fredrik talk 09:41, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Carl, the RFC, in which you chose not to participate, is over and there is already a clear conclusion of community consensus weighed by two uninvolved admins. The only "discussion" now is about who wants to do the work, and a request that those who have previously edit warred over this matter acknowledge the consensus. The prices will be removed from the lead of nearly all drug articles, and prices sourced to raw database sources will also be removed from the article body. Carl, it is clear what you are doing here. Get over it, move on. I do not intend to discuss the matter further with you. -- Colin°Talk 10:14, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Colin — Those accusations are to me a clear rejection of WP:assume good faith. You rightfully point out that I chose not to participate in the RfC, but there is no reason why that would matter.
I am not rejecting the RfC — but pointing out that large-scale major edits over many articles, which may be controversial — are not appropriate at the moment, and are not supported by the RfC.
As anyone is able to see upon reviewing the link at the very top here: The closing message of the RfC is not as straight forward as you make it.
There is mention of "no consensus" in several places and the phrase "unlikely to find consensus", not "consensus against". There are also use of phrasing such as "in most cases", which imply a need to go through articles on a case-by-case basis. Each article that is assessed must of course take into account the RfC-result, but from what I understand you were suggesting a quick run-down of all articles in one fell swoop.
What I'm saying is for those cases where consensus isn't 100% clear (quite a substantial number where secondary sources are included): don't go overboard.
For example, how should we treat secondary sources discussing medication prices, such as those from the World Health Organization? Those things aren't simple and we need to properly discuss them, taking time in expense that we simply don't have right now.
I can't debate this further now, because it is a complicated issue and one that requires quite a lot of reading and familiarizing with sources.
The reason why I'm saying this is because the RfC didn't come with a clear "Do this" result, and even if that is not your intent: using the current timing may be perceived as an attempt to avoid scrutiny by a sizable proportion of those editors who did not agree with your take in the RfC.
TL;DR: The RfC resulted in a mixed consensus, not a ratification of Colin's position.
Carl Fredrik talk 10:45, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps you will consider re-reading the RFC after a few days; let's not re-litigate it post-closing. The time to enter an opinion was during the RFC, not after. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:08, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
That reiterates my point — the RfC is extremely lengthy, and if one is expected to read the entire thing to interpret the closing and to implement it, it will not be done quickly.
I'm not interested in entering an opinion, which should be evident in that I did not engage in the RfC — but I am interested in ensuring that the current situation with most MD/RD-editors being away doesn't mean a lot of poor choices are made with incomplete consensus — which we later have to revert. WP:THEREISNODEADLINE Carl Fredrik talk 16:58, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
It was the job of the admins to read the "extremely lengthy" RFC and their summary and conclusions are not long at all; it is quite consise, and not hard to understand. We don't re-litigate a closed RFC, which was widely advertised. For now, could you please take on board the need to avoid battleground, and allow neutral discussion, under neutral headings, to continue about how to best implement the consensus? Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:01, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
If it was the job of the admins, then why did you ask me to re-read it?
All I've said was:
1) That the timing is wrong for introducing major changes in the middle of a pandemic where many editors are not present
2) That the RfC certainly isn't as straight forward when 2 out of 3 points in the closing summary point to a lack of consensus or no consensus.
I have no further comments.
Carl Fredrik talk 17:11, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Separately, you have personalized unnecessarily in this post. I am not going to requote the unnecessary wording that risks derailing the discussion from matters at hand, but I do suggest you may want to strike that portion, and comment on content, not contributor going forward. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 29 March 2020 (UTC)


Back on topic. I think we should create a list of drugs that have notable high-cost issues and we can together all examine if there are problems surrounding the presentation or sourcing of prices on those drugs that need MEDMOS/MEDRS guidance. Colin, unless I am misunderstanding, you are proposing here that we should separately do something to examine those cases where our drug articles do have notable high-cost issues that should be covered? During the RFC formulation, we did find that in many instances-- where articles should be discussing pricing as a V, WEIGHT, reliably sourced issue-- they were not.

In the rest of the cases, on implementing the RFC, there are several things I think we need to have feedback on:

  • First, we should hear if the people who made the edits to the 530 articles have a plan to remove them themselves. That would solve the implementation problem with no further need for discussion or a lot of work from other editors.
  • Second, if not, then we can discuss how to approach the 530 articles. Can that list be edited down to include just the articles and the text?
  • Then third, we need an approach to doing the work. Because many people are under stay-at-home orders, I don't think it will be difficult to find volunteers, but we should not initiate work until there is an agreed approach. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:03, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
    Adding clarification: This is NOT to say that we need agreement to implement the RFC-- only that we need to hear first whether those who added the disputed text are willing to delete it themselves, or whether we will need to find another way to divide up the work, whether alphabetically, etc. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:49, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
My remark concerns WhatamIdoing comment about (at a future date) to "propose some content about prices for MEDMOS (and maybe also a sentence or two for MEDRS)." That's very much a no-rush matter. As with all guidelines, we need to look at current practice, best practice, bad practice, and work out even if guidelines are needed. That's why I suggested making a list of articles that might be worth reviewing. And yes there are social, economic and health-service issues surrounding pharmaceutical treatments that our articles neglect, so editors might want to work on that as an area to improve and suggest for MEDMOS. -- Colin°Talk 16:35, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
OK, I see now why you added that. We may already need a re-boot to focus on how to implement the RFC, as the discussion went off-track quickly. Perhaps WhatamIdoing can use her skills to figure out how best to re-focus the discussion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:46, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that will have to happen later, possibly months from now. For one thing, I'll want to re-read the entire 49,000-word-long RFC first. I'm a fast reader, but that step alone will likely take a couple of weeks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:51, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
In re "major editing across many articles, should be avoided if there is any suspicion that it would be controversial": Carl, I don't think that it's generally considered "controversial" to (conservatively) implement the conclusion of an unusually long, unusually well-attended RFC. Do you? I mean, we have pretty much unanimous agreement (including from the person who originally added it) that when the database gives a price for a single African country, that nobody ought to write that it's the price in the entire developing world (=80% of the world's population). I really struggle to see how anyone would think removing that is controversial or in need of yet more discussion. At least a third of the prices sourced to that website are similarly bad. I can understand that drug price content feels less urgent to you (and to many people) than the COVID-19 articles, but does it genuinely seem controversial to you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:47, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing — No, that does not sound controversial, but it was also not what I understood the intent of the original post to be. There was nothing about conservative implementation of the least controversial points from the RfC. I'm totally fine with it, as long as we implement what is actually not disputed first, and then we can discuss the things that remain disputed, or that the RfC failed to answer later. From what I understand, the only really clear point is the first one about the general opposition towards prices in the lede.
I don't have time to comment further, and truly hope that it isn't a mistake to drop the issue for now. I believe I've made my points heard about being careful and going slowly, and can't contribute more. Carl Fredrik talk 17:22, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
This RFC was specifically about content sourced to Special:LinkSearch/* While the discussion covered much wider range (there's no way to keep Wikipedians from talking about whatever they think is important), the primary conclusions are about (mis)using that single source, and especially about having misleading content from it in the introduction of an article. I think that fixing up that much could be implemented (especially in the most obvious cases) by anyone at any time. Most price content should move out of the lead (all editors to use best judgment, nobody to engage in WP:POINTy or mindless editing, etc.), and the price content from that one specific source should be reviewed with an eye towards removal (if the database had limited information for that drug) or correction/clarification (all the rest). The removals will be easier, so it might make sense to do those first, but Wikipedia:There is no deadline. It's been there for five or six years, so another couple of months doesn't really matter. For the rest (e.g., infoboxes), that's all food for thought at a future date. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:40, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
To answer WAID, the conclusions of the RFC are pretty clear, and I am not seeing this "controversy". I have suggested that CFCF might want to revisit the conclusions of the admins after a few days' reflection-- sometimes things can be seen more clearly with a few days' distance. On the other hand, I don't think anyone is advocating moving forward without a deliberative discussion and approach about how to go about approaching the work that needs to be done. That text in the leads sourced to these databases goes is indisputable from the RFC close. The closing admins also concluded that pricing text anywhere in the articles does not enjoy consensus that it meets policy (V or WEIGHT). Those wanting to add content need to demonstrate that the content meets policy, not the other way around. These are not controversial statements. The text in these articles now does not enjoy consensus is the conclusion, and where there is little discussion of pricing in secondary sources, it generally should not be included.
That how to undertake this work on 530 articles needs to be discussed goes without saying, because it is a lot of work. The idea that we can't even talk about this because a small number of medical editors are attempting to keep up with NOTNEWS yet InTheNews edits across hundreds of COVID articles is a sample of confirmation bias. I am seeing editors engaging on non-COVID medical articles to an extent that I hadn't seen in years, so it is apparent to me that there are plenty of editors with more free time now. We can move forward to discussing how to implement the RFC conclusions; IMO, it would be preferable to first hear whether the editors who added the text will help get it removed, and I accept that it may take additional time, due to the pandemic, to get an answer to that query. Our time will also be better spent if we deal with the housekeeping issues here, lest we see another five-month detour through ANI. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:18, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't think we need to have big discussions. I think we just need to move slowly. Nobody should try to edit hundreds of drug articles today, or even this week, because it's not nice to flood people's watchlists. We should fix the "obvious" problems first. It may take a long time to get decent price content into articles, but that's okay; we can make some of it better soon. For right now, just getting mediocre-to-bad content from the one source out of the introduction is a simple, feasible edit that dozens of us are capable of doing. Probably the fastest way to do that is to go to User:Colin/MSHData#Raw data, sort by the number of suppliers, and start with the ones that have zero suppliers or just one supplier. All of those require (mostly) removal or (sometimes) correction. If anyone is interested in doing this, but isn't sure what to do, then pick an article from the list, make your best-guess edit, and bring the diff here with your questions (or ping me for an informal second opinion). We could probably even ping the closing admins with a few diffs to make sure that the changes we make are what they expected. We do more complicated editing every day of the week. We shouldn't overcomplicate this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I support this take by WhatamIdoing. Carl Fredrik talk 19:50, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
WAID, I don't suspect there is a current risk that anyone will run out and edit hundreds of articles any time soon. We do need to get the work done, but I think/hope we all understand that we need time to hear from all involved considering the current world environment. I do suspect we all appreciate the need for a systematic, deliberative, and coordinated effort, when we are talking about 530 articles. I don't want to see us getting in each other's way, duplicating work, duplicating checking of work, confusing editors who didn't know about the RFC, or in a situation where multiple editors are reviewing the same articles. I also submit, as an optimist perhaps, that the last time we found ourselves (WPMED) in a similar position, the editor who had added all of the disputed content voluntarily removed all of it themselves, so there remains a chance we don't have to undertake this work.
If we do, we can approach this systematically to save time. That is:
I suggest a sorting of the list of the 530 articles (by source used, then by article name), placed somewhere in project space, and set up in a format that each editor can indicate what they have addressed, and include a diff. (Similar to how Copyvio investigations proceed.) I also suggest we come up with a shared, common edit summary for this work-- one that links back to the RFC-- for two reasons: 1) recall that there were several dozen editors who had tried to remove this price data in the past but who were apparently unaware of the RFC (and were intentionally not pinged to the RFC per canvassing), who may be watching articles and unaware of why the changes are being made, and; this allows the rest of us to easily see the common edits and know what has already been done, avoiding duplication of work. Again, a reminder that we have seen work on similar problems where edit summaries were not used, and that will make it harder on everyone.
Starting with the MSH-sourced articles first may make sense, but the RFC also concluded that there is no consensus for drug prices to be in articles at all, so we should proceed carefully enough that we have a broader system in place to deal with all 530 database-sourced prices when the time comes. Again, all of this work could be negated, though, if the editor who added them voluntarily removed them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:49, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

GoodRx linkEdit

@SandyGeorgia: To clarify: my question is about whether linking to a price comparison website in the infobox is supported (or at least just not contested) by the community; I never intended to list GoodRx's prices for reasons I stated on the drugbox talk page. Seppi333 (Insert ) 00:20, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
The previous discussions have mostly been about putting a link in the ==External links== section. The main problem with a site like GoodRx is that it's limited to a single country, which WP:ELNO dislikes. Editors have discussed adding the International Medical Products Price Guide website as an external link (if it weren't basically a big "Under Construction" sign right now). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:12, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
The idea was to implement it with the functionality to add links to external sites for other countries if any are available, analogous to how the pregnancy and legal status categories are implemented (i.e., by listing the RHS with a prepended country code). That field is not intended to be exclusive to the United States; there merely happens to be a use case for linking GoodRx in the US (namely, drug coupons for high cost drugs) beyond the provision of pricing information, hence why I proposed that first. If other countries for which the drugbox provides pregnancy-cat/legal-status parameter support have accurate and up-to-date price trackers, a parameter can/may just as well be created for them IMO. The drugbox already contains parametrized ELs to websites that provide country-specific information (i.e., all of the licensing info parameters), so I don't really see how the creation of this field can be construed as being problematic on the basis of the US being the first country to be parameterized or that the parameter would link to country-specific information. That's just my 2 cents anyway. I'm going back on my wikibreak. Seppi333 (Insert ) 07:42, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't think GoodRX is comparable to details such as pregnancy and legal status which are stable and encyclopaedic. A site offering the current price, after coupon discount, in your local area of the US only, from partner retailers, is not encyclopaedic, and fails WP:EL. If folk think linking to price comparison websites (of which drugs is one but many - mortgages, insurance, consumer goods, savings accounts, pension plans, etc, etc) then you should really go for a site-wide RFC on it, and not raise your hopes. -- Colin°Talk 08:42, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough. That was my plan anyway; I just don't have time to do it right now. Don't really have any expectations at this point. Seppi333 (Insert ) 09:28, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Seppi, I think WhatamIdoing has well summarized the issues and concerns but I wanted to recognize your work that went before at any rate. I mentioned at one point that I would not be opposed to including GoodRx in an external link template, but I think we would have to have similar apps from many countries before considering implementing such a proposal. While such an app is only available in the US, it seems US-centric to add it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:23, 29 March 2020 (UTC)


It appears that we as a Project are going to have to take on some housekeeping issues here, unless we want another trip to ANI. Less than a week after the RFC closed, we are seeing a return to earlier behaviors.

Our task is to decide how to implement the close of the RFC; not to re-litigate conclusions reached by the neutral admins who closed it. I am concerned that there is already opposition to even discussion of how to implement the RFC, and particularly at a time when many editors are stuck at home and have enough free time on their hands to go about getting the work done. I am particularly concerned that we are already seeing personalization of issues, unstruck battleground accusations that one editor is "going to get what you wanted" (what the RFC concluded), and non-neutral framing and re-editing of section headings that impede productive discussion of how to implement the RFC. The entire discussion has now been reformatted with non-neutral section headings impeding discussion. I do not intend to try to continue to address the reformatting of the sections to one editor's interpretation, but think that we might consider, as a group, ways to get it to stop so we don't end up at ANI again. We need some ideas here on how to reign in these issues so that discussion can proceed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:59, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

My suggestions:
  1. The first section heading here, "Wrong time to be having this debate (COVID-19 pandemic)" is quite a leading heading, discouraging discussion. I suggest it be changed to a neutral "Timing of discussion".
  2. Ditto for second, and I suggest changing, "Uncertainties about bias // Implementation" to a more neutral and general "Implementation concerns".
  3. My final suggestion is that we, as a group, make a determination here to get this re-formatting of sections and other people's posts to stop. We should be sufficiently grown up that we shouldn't need to go to outside admins to hold a productive discussion without excess markup, reformatting, and posts advocating that we cannot even hold a discussion.
SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:33, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
The one who has been doing most of the reformatting of others' discussions and sections here has been you, SandyGeorgia, having intentionally ignored responses and indenting — placing lengthy comments above or at the same level as those of others, repeatedly squirreling away what you find "irrelevant" or "personalized" under various trivializing headers.
Adding unrelated and loaded euphemisms to headers is also not useful, as you did in: === RfC interpretation ===, implying that the section was independent from the rest of the discussion, and represented a minority or fringe view: [17] — after which you followed with a comment that simultaneously moved the section away and ignored the concerns: [18], starting with: "Back on topic".
Or here, where you again implied that others were "off topic" in the edit summary upon concerns over whether it was a good idea to be debating when so many editors were absent: [19]; adding a pointy break: === Implementing RFC conclusions ===
Growing up, I was taught the phrase: "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones", which seems apt here.
Carl Fredrik talk 21:45, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
You are entitled to your opinions and partial diffs. More significantly, thank you for partially addressing some of the headings you introduced (although removing mine, which you should refrain from doing again). Now, there is work to be done. Will you join in refraining from personalizing discussions, taking care with section headings, and allowing discussion to proceed? That would help all of our efforts. Once again, you may have the last word. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:58, 29 March 2020 (UTC)


Per "There is no consensus on whether drug prices should be included in articles at all". Sure I guess they can go in the body of the article. I will get around to starting a clearer RfC eventually after WP:COVID19. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:43, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

James, perhaps I am misreading, so could you expand/clarify? Your posts sounds as if you are saying you reject the conclusions of a widely advertised, community-wide RFC, so plan to re-do another RFC, formulated by you, which I find hard to understand. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:50, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Per "There is no consensus on whether drug prices should be included in articles at all" means that consensus was not achieved on some stuff. Yes that is correct. Personally I think that this RfC was a mess and hard to make heads or tails of. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:28, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
That is a concerning response, James; it appears that I was reading your response correctly the first time? It seems that you are saying you don't like the conclusion, so you plan to re-do the RFC yourself. I hate to drag them back in here, but perhaps the closing admins will have an opinion on that approach. @Barkeep49, Wugapodes, and Ymblanter:. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:43, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Considering we have an RFC saying there is no consensus that the content added meets policy, are you accounting for the fact that the burden is on the editor wanting to add content to demonstrate that it meets policy? With a five-month-long process, wide open to the community, it is hard for me to understand how you can say that you need to re-do it yourself. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:46, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Sure feel free. We need to work to clarify the situation around the body of the text. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:52, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, just for the record I am not a closing admin on this. Wugapodes and Ymblanter did all that work. I felt it needed fresh eyes given the work I'd done to facilitate its launch. That said as long as an editor is including pricing information referenced secondary sourcing in the body of the article that seems appropriate given the conclusion of the RfC. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:52, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I realize that ... lumping you all together under one term was a shortcut. But Barkeep49, considering you did facilitate the launch, and close the ANI, how should we interpret James' intent to re-do the RFC himself? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:54, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I think it's possible an RfC that seeks consensus on an area that had no consensus could be productive. Or could be disruptive, all depends on a lot of factors. Given my faith in James I would expect it to be productive rather than disruptive. Further, James has indicated he's not going to launch soon (and given COVID could be intense for a few more months) so it's not something we need to has out now. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:00, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks User:Barkeep49... There are also the concerns around an editor being pushed out of Wikipedia during the drafting of the prior one and multiple people raising concerns about the formating. But will leave that to later. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:03, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
"An editor being pushed out" is a dubious way to phrase that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:06, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

I read it as drug prices are not given any special priority for inclusion in articles, nor are drug prices exempt from the application of NOT and POV. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 01:41, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

  • Basically, the "no consensus" close means we follow existing policy, that being WP:NOPRICES. Prices may be included in articles (body or otherwise) in exceptional circumstances where reliable and independent sources clearly consider them of significance and extensively discuss them, but not as a matter of course. And we very much should not be extrapolating from databases. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:48, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Or per the link "An article should not include product pricing or availability information unless there is an independent source and a justified reason for the mention." Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:05, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Per both of you (Ronz, Seraph), this much is clear. To most of us :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:06, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
unless there is an independent source and a justified reason for the mention. No. We tried that and it failed. NOT and POV apply. Please avoid anything that comes across as WP:IDHT at this point.
I realize that this is a quote from NOT, but in the context of this RfC, it's not enough. Editors all along were saying they had "justification". It's clear now that they did not. Let's be more clear and careful in how we proceed. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 02:24, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps the three of you could help in the earlier sections of this discussion, that revolve around how to best proceed next. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:30, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

I'd hope there would be no problems with removing prices from article ledes, with the few exceptions where prices themselves were clearly part of the notability of the drug in question (eg Pyrimethamine). --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 03:32, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

  • Our conclusion is that whether prices can go to the body of a specific articles is determined on case per case basis, and there is no general consensus on this. In practice, probably, as usual, if some users agree and some disagree, they should go to the talk page and sort it out, taking into account whether pricing sources are primary or secondary, their quality, the formulation of the statement etc.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:25, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Ymblanter and Wugapodes, the "no consensus" part of your closing remarks is being seized upon as suggesting the RFC failed to reach a conclusion on the central points. My interpretation of your words is that there is indeed no consensus that prices should routinely be inserted in articles or never inserted in articles but that, as always, per WP:NOTPRICES, this is determined per drug article based on "secondary sources discuss[ing] pricing extensively" [for that drug] or as policy states it "mainstream media sources (not just product reviews) provide commentary on these details instead of just passing mention". Can I ask you to urgently clarify this. In my view the RFC achieved several things:

  • Prices should nearly always be removed from the lead.
  • Prices should not be sourced solely to primary databases of raw product prices, which when interpreted leads to WP:OR, WP:V and even if carefully written have WP:WEIGHT issues.
  • WP:NOTPRICES is reaffirmed as fully applying to drug prices.
  • The suggestions by some that prices might appear in info boxes, sourced to wikidata, is likely to be a non-starter and be rejected.

In particular, it is not sufficient to find secondary sources mentioning the the cost of a drug (whether in dollars or abstractly) and then include a different price sourced to a primary database of product prices. The prices themselves must be sourced to secondary sources who make extended commentary on that price. -- Colin°Talk 07:34, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Yes, this is what we concluded (with an obvious comment that we only summarized the discussion at this RfC - for example, if there are some magic databases which can be taken over without interpretation, this might be a different story, but it was not a subject of this RfC).--Ymblanter (talk) 07:46, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Ymblanter, thank you very much for your quick confirmation. There are no magic databases. The RFC focused on the MSH Price Guide database as a representative example of such databases. and BNF are similar, though with an even greater choice of formulations and dose strengths as you'd expect from developed nations. The BNF also lists, for each formulation and strength, prices from many suppliers to the NHS, generic and branded, which are not all the same. The NADAC prices are even worse (you can't link to a particular drug, which must be searched for by hand) and offer an oddly limited set of formulations and dose. Both NADAC and give official list prices (wholesale and retail respectively) and it is well known that these prices are not in fact the ones paid by pharmacies or by customers. GoodRX has more accurate retail prices, after discount coupons, though the mix of prices varies depending on which of their many partner retailers you shop at, and where you live in the US. The BNF website is unavailable outside of the UK and GoodRX is unavailable outside of the US, making their data harder for readers to verify. The mix of wholesale and retail, list and discounted prices further complicates their use on Wiki articles where prices get juxtaposed. Further, none of these sources are able to list the official price paid by health services for the extremely expensive cancer drugs (BNF give the official list price the drug company wants you to see, and includes a warning to indicate this) -- the huge discount negotiated is a commercial secret. -- Colin°Talk 08:02, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Drug price databases rejected as the sole sourceEdit

The RFC's conclusions also say "Where pricing information is included, claims should be sourced to reliable, secondary sources and not solely primary source data from price databases." This statement does not restrict itself to the introduction. It applies to all drug price content in the entire article.

In keeping with my understanding of this conclusion, I removed a claim in Simvastatin that was sourced solely to primary source data from the MSH price database. James put it back in the article with slightly different wording at Simvastatin#Cost. It is still sourced solely to primary source data from a drug price database (a database that, because they're re-organizing their website, can only be accessed via tables in a PDF at the moment).

Ymblanter and Wugapodes, when you said that it's not okay to source drug price content solely to the drug price databases, did you mean to include, well, sourcing this drug price content solely to the MSH drug price database? Do you think that including that sentence, with that single source, is in keeping with the community's consensus or against it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:43, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

We believe that the RfC established that sourcing prices only from a database involves original research. If there are some issues (like, I do not know, one database which covers some ground and does not require interpretation) which have not been discussed during this RfC then they should be discussed at the talk page. I can not really comment on the specific case.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:48, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Sure we can adjust these so no interpretation is required. Claims around pricing were not sololy based on price databases but based on multiple sources. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:40, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Doc James, the sentence I'm discussing about today is the one that currently says:
The wholesale cost in some LMIC is around US$0.01 to 0.15 per 20 mg dose as of 2014.[1]
  1. ^ "Simvastatin" (PDF). International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
That looks like exactly one (1) citation, to a drug price database, as in a claim that is "sourced solely to primary source data from a drug price database". Are you claiming that you took this information upon some other, uncited sources? Or do you agree that this single sentence is, in fact, cited solely to a single drug database? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:12, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
The discussion of prices generally is supported by a number of citations. The topic of prices is not just supported by that reference. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:21, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Additionally there was no consensus to scrub prices for medications based on the popular press such as the BBC.[20] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:44, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

To add to Ymblanter's point, I took that language from WP:MEDRS which says to prefer secondary sources to primary sources. If primary sources like price databases are used anywhere in an article, they should be used with caution in line with our existing guidance on the use of primary sources. (edit conflict) Wug·a·po·des 21:15, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Per WP:MEDRS we also state "recognised standard textbooks by experts in a field". A book published by the World Health Organization definitely fits that criteria.[21] So yes we are using appropriate caution. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:42, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
That a price database (primary source) is published for convenience in PDF format, does not turn it into a "recognised standard textbook by experts in a field". A textbook is a tertiary source that builds upon primary and secondary material. This is basic stuff. The database-sourced prices must go. "Adjusting so no interpretation is required" was discussed extensively at the RFC and gives WP:WEIGHT issues. This was confirmed by the closing admins "In addition, there are concerns that proper explanation of the situation for the indicated price would give the price undue weight." -- Colin°Talk 07:18, 1 April 2020 (UTC)


I'm very concerned that this introduction of pricing iformation is far outside anything allowed by the RfC. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 20:16, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

That is not a numerical price. Anyway I guess we have our next RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:21, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I'd rather just go to ArbCom. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 20:23, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm not seeing the issue either, I don't see how it violates:
Where secondary sources discuss pricing extensively (insulin being a frequently cited example), that information may be worth including in the article; where there is little discussion of pricing in secondary sources, it generally should not be included. Drugs which fall into the grey area between these extremes should be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Where pricing information is included, claims should be sourced to reliable, secondary sources and not solely primary source data from price databases.
All that says is that inclusion is subject to discussion — which we rightfully can have here or at Talk:Simvastatin, if necessary.
Immediately bringing up ArbCom over: a single edit, which relies on secondary sources in line with the RfC summary — certainly feels like WP:INTIMIDATION. I mean this is just saying "that edit's not allowed", without even going into what makes the edit forbidden — which is a conduct violation per WP:BUREAUCRACY (a policy).
In addition, the skipping of discussion and simply pointing fingers — is explicitly against the RfC, which says: discuss.
What it does look like is WP:Wikihounding.
P.S. It's definitely Wikihounding, because there is even a clear discussion post here Talk:Simvastatin#In_depth_discussion, predating the bringing forth of concerns here; a discussion in which the user threatening taking things to arbitration has made no attempt to engage in.
Carl Fredrik talk 20:44, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
As I said, ArbCom. We put it off, hoping the RfC would allow us to avoid it, but clearly that's not the case.
Of course, editors can at any time WP:FOC and demonstrate some understanding of the RfC and applicable policies. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 21:18, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I think that is a good source. However, I'm concerned that the source doesn't actually seem to say that this specific drug has a relatively low cost (also: relative to what?). Instead, it says that most drugs (not necessarily this one) aren't affordable to most people outside of high-income countries, that WHO decided that statins (not necessarily this one) are generally cost-effective, and that MSH's International Medical Products Price Guide said the wholesale cost of simvastatin dropped to $40 per patient per year, compared to the $1200 that was charged while it was under patent protection. Editors can't take "most drugs aren't affordable", "statins are cost-effective", and "this price went down" and add that up into a simplistic statement that it has a "relatively low cost". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:09, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of medication prices. This source is clearer if you need "Simvastatin, used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, is a universally accepted and relatively inexpensive drug."[22] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:16, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • James, could you please begin to use edit summaries? Editors removing the text per the RFC most kindly used full and descriptive edit summaries about why the text was being removed. [23] [24] This is helpful for the several dozen editors who tried over years to remove drug price text and may not know why these edits are happening. Since there are 530 articles to be reviewed, these edit summaries are helpful.
    When reinstating text already removed once, per the RFC-- knowing that this reinstatement is controversial-- an edit summary should be more descriptive than "adjusted". Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:08, 30 March 2020 (UTC)



Too near the edit to Simvastatin: [25] --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 22:07, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

  • James, edit summaries once again:[26]. When you are inserting text that is known to be controversial, an edit summary of "adjusted" is insufficient. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:11, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

List of pharmaceutical prices editedEdit

So much for a systematic method of processing through the RFC conclusion. These are the articles edited so far, best I can tell. The list is likely incomplete because of an absence of edit summaries; please add any (alphabetical) I missed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:47, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

I have not had a chance to look at Pyrimethamine or Trimethoprim; will leave them to others. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:36, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Finished, below. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:05, 31 March 2020 (UTC)


James, I am starting through the list above (others have already looked at atorvastatin and simvastatin).

I am concerned that this addition you made at ethosuximide is firmly against the conclusions of the RFC on many levels. The RFC concerned itself with making sure our drug pricing content upholds important policies of WP:V, WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOT. Why would we present 2001 data from one country, Italy ("costs are based on 2001 retail prices in Italy")? How does that help our readers? This is the very situation we just discussed at the RFC, yet you added a statement as of 2008 that used 2001 data from one country, Italy, which is not "most of the world" and is dated? That is specifically what we discussed in the RFC. How does this source verify "Ethosuximide, along with phenobarbital and phenytoin, is one of the few antiepileptic medications that people can generally afford in most areas of the world as of 2008"? What am I missing? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:08, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

The RfC says:
"There is no consensus on whether drug prices should be included in articles at all."
Ie there is no prohibition against including medication price information in the body of the article
"Where secondary sources discuss pricing extensively (insulin being a frequently cited example), that information may be worth including in the article; where there is little discussion of pricing in secondary sources, it generally should not be included."
We have lots of secondary sources that discuss the costs / pricing of medications and thus extensive discussion for inclusion in the body of the text.
"Drugs which fall into the grey area between these extremes should be discussed on a case-by-case basis."
Sure we can go through these with RfCs one by one.
"Where pricing information is included, claims should be sourced to reliable, secondary sources and not solely primary source data from price databases."
Yes some secondary sources are required before including any pricing information. These are not hard to find for essential medicines at least. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:12, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
James, yes, I understand your take on the RFC (which others disagree with). That is not the question I asked.
You have added a statement saying, "Ethosuximide, along with phenobarbital and phenytoin, is one of the few antiepileptic medications that people can generally afford in most areas of the world as of 2008", that is based on 2001 data from one country, Italy. How does that meet WP:V and WP:WEIGHT? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:28, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
No not based on 2011 data Italy. The text says "For most patients living in these countries, only phenobarbital, phenytoin, and ethosuximdie may be avaliable at prices affordable by the general population" Referring to countries with 40% of the global population. I can start another RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:34, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
James. No, we don't need to bring in more non-WPMED editors to have a discussion about the long-standing standards upon which the reputation of our medical content was built. Is it your opinion that a source that uses 2001 data from one country (Italy) should be used to source a statement about the cost of a drug in "most areas of the world", and relevant to the year 2020? Please, directly answering the question is MUCH preferable to another RFC. TRUE discussion is always the best way to resolve content issues. Why do you consider that this source meets WEIGHT and is relevant ? As medical editors, we are accustomed to closely examining our sources and making sure the data we add is relevant and supported by the text. Regardless of whether this text is outside of the remit of MEDRS, do you believe that data (2001, one country) supports that text for the purposes of 2020? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:46, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Do I think a 2008 textbook published by Wiley is a suitable source for discussion of the social and cultural aspects of a medication? Yes, yes I do. I use lots of textbooks for medical content, particularly social and cultural content. Part of the reason why I like the textbook is you can see it via google books. Sure I guess I can move to newer textbooks with less access. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:51, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
James OK, you are happy using 2001 data to make a statement in 2020. Got that part (and I hope we don't source other medical content to that standard), but that is only one part of the question. How is WEIGHT met by the fact that this seems to be the only mention found to support a statement about cost relevant to 2020? As you know, we would NEVER allow this kind of logic for other content; why do you feel it OK to allow it for pricing? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:58, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
Actually this is generally what we do. We find major medical textbooks and we paraphrase them. I am using a high quality 2008 textbook. My job is not verify that the textbook got it right. Also you do not need to ping me (ie if I am not clear enough please stop pinging me). Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:03, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Happy to stop pinging you, since I hate those things myself. But, you are surely aware that it was hard to solicit your participation during the RFC because you disallowed pings and were not keeping up with discussion, so I wanted to make sure you were following this discussion. OK, I believe I have the answers now. You believe that 2001 data from one country published in one book almost more than a decade ago meets WEIGHT and V to support a broad statement about prices in many countries. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that point. Thanks for answering, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:16, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I would suggest people read the book themselves and make up their own mind. Will work on another RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:19, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Please don't. I have a dismal record when it comes to formulating RFCs, but you give me a run for my money, and we don't need another malformed RFC at this particular moment. Perhaps you will wait until more editors have offered opinions on this one, as it is rather obviously problematic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:26, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Apologies already have Talk:Ethosuximide#RfC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:42, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
There are five articles (listed above) edited already, and 530 disputed. Do you plan to start RFCs on every drug article edited, and do you think this is the most useful approach? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:22, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I imagine we will get closer to consensus as time goes on. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:07, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Meta comment: Speaking as one of the long-time unofficial coordinators of the WP:RFC process, we're talking about the problem of overuse/misuse of RFCs again. Some of the proposals are to have a limit on the number of RFCs that any individual editor can start (e.g., no more than three a month) or to require pre-approval of RFCs (e.g., to make sure that there's a decent question, and that editors aren't jumping to a sitewide RFC without trying a normal discussion for a few days first). This ongoing discussion is partly prompted by the behavior by two WPMED-related editors, who have set records for the volume of RFCs started. I would really like to not have any more examples of WPMED-related editors opening multiple RFCs per week. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:32, 31 March 2020 (UTC)


James added here moved but left existing pricing data specifically sourced to a press release from the manufacturer, which is directly addressed at WP:NOPRICE. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:57, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

WP:SOAP as well. --Hipal/Ronz (talk) 02:01, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I was actually grouping content by country. The was in the article before and I just moved it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:09, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Struck and corrected above, with my apologies. I am curious why you did not remove the text, since that sort of content (company press release) is quite specifically addressed in the policy page, WP:NOPRICE, and as far as I know was never disputed during the RFC. Could you clarify whether you also consider the PRnewswire source to be usable for price content? Also, this is another example where an edit summary would be helpful. Many (most?) editors when moving content, indicate that in edit summary. Because you used the same edit summary (adjusted) [27] that you used when reinstating other price content (in the articles above), I mistakenly assumed this was another reinstatement. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:22, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I did not look at the sources. That source sucks. I was just grouping content about price by country. Removed it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:37, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Glad to hear that!(Oops, I see a problem there, added below). Ok, there are other problems there. We have an ungrammatical sentence in the lead, so I went to the sources to try to figure out what it meant to be saying.
  • In the United States in 2015, when it was not available as a generic medication, and the price was increased from US$13.50 to $750 a tablet ($75,000 for a course of treatment), resulting in criticism.[1][2][3]

  1. ^ Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 54. ISBN 9781284057560.
  2. ^ Mullin, Emily. "Turing Pharma Says Daraprim Availability Will Be Unaffected By Shkreli Arrest". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  3. ^ Alpern, JD; Song, J; Stauffer, WM (19 May 2016). "Essential Medicines in the United States--Why Access Is Diminishing". The New England Journal of Medicine. 374 (20): 1904–7. doi:10.1056/nejmp1601559. PMID 27192669.
I don't know what is in the first source (request quote). The second source is a Forbes contributor opinion piece, which are generally considered unreliable for ANY text on Wikipedia. The third source does not verify the content; it mentions the cost of treating one patient at one hospital, as an example, and does not state that $75,000 is generally the cost of treatment. So, even in a case where there may be reason to include price data in the lead, we haven't done it in a policy-compliant way. This is why a systematic approach to checking all of these problems is needed; it appears that there has been too much very hurried editing of price content. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:04, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
And there's another problem with the text you deleted here. As I mentioned above, the source (a company press release) was not reliable compliant with WP:NOT, but instead of tagging or replacing or removing the citation (the press release), you also removed the entire content, which does seem to be relevant to the pricing problem that happened there. It is not good practice to remove text that can be cited, as in this case, that text can be cited to CNBC. The edit summary was "trimmed press release" which might better have been "removed text cited to press release", as that would trigger other editors to know that an alternate source might be (in fact, should be) sought.
I think a careful examination of the editing in the first five pharmaceutical pricing articles suggests that a much slower approach would be helpful. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:20, 31 March 2020 (UTC)


With this edit to Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, vague text about pricing is left in the lead (unclear to what countries this applies), although IMO the requirements per the RFC and in accordance with policy to include price date in the lead of this article are not met. (WP:LEAD, WP:WEIGHT, WP:NOPRICE). The cost of this drug has not been the subject of significant secondary coverage worthy of mention in the lead. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:04, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Summary: those are the five articles edited so far; this is NOT a systematic or healthy approach to implementing the RFC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:04, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Notice of ArbCom RequestEdit

Given the events of the last day I have filed an ArbCom Case request. Barkeep49 (talk) 03:39, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Propose postponement due to COVID-19Edit

I would like to request delay on this topic until further notice due to COVID-19. This issue concerns WikiProject Medicine and the focus of that project right now is COVID-19. The primary outcome of this issue being discussed anywhere will be distraction from developing COVID-19 content. The matter of price is not urgent and has been pending for years. No harm comes from postponement.

  • Archive this discussion
  • Immediately remove any following price discussion
  • Delay taking action regarding prices
  • Edit COVID-19 or anything else peacefully
  1. Support as proposer Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:21, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  2. Support Not unreasonable. The issues are much larger than just the pricing ones and we will need to get back to them eventually I imagine. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:09, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  3. Support With all the information and especially the misinformation going round, I feel that our coverage of the pandemic is extremely important. Dr. Vogel (talk) 19:49, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Home baking respiteEdit

Parma Violets cupcakes

Over on Commons, the admin noticeboard got busy with the fallout from a controversial indef block of a long-term user. A load of admins wheel-warred, blocked each other, proposed de-admin requests, and retired. All probably a bit crazy cabin-fever induced. User:Rhododendrites proposed we upload some pictures of home cooking or baking to share. I think that great idea can be extended from Commons to the WP:MED editors on Wikipedia. Many are busy doing great work on virus articles at this time, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and isn't healthy.

So if you or your family bakes or cooks some delicious food, take a picture and share it with us. No need for anything fancier than your smartphone and some decent light. Help yourself to come cupcakes. Be quick, there are only four left... -- Colin°Talk 11:19, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Yummy, thank you Colin. Graham Beards (talk) 11:32, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Thank you so much, Colin. But cooking is, to put it mildly, my weak spot. So, I can offer a beautiful (and to me) calming piece of music as salve for the soul. [28] That "odd" feeling finally has a name: grief. Now that I understand this and am trying to take on board what it means in my life/our lives, I am better understanding how I need to focus my time, and that means thinking beyond the "crazy cabin-fever induced" actions, and more towards longer-term preparation. Eating sweets is to be avoided, because so far, getting overweight is not in my plans ! Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:39, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

New graph from Our World in DataEdit

Trajectory of number of COVID-19 deaths by country since 5th death

I've added a new graph to commons which will be updated daily (as long as I'm able). Plot of days since 5th death v total deaths by country that gives a trajectory of fatality rates over time in each country.

Ian Furst (talk) 15:52, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Ian, thank you--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 01:04, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Looking for CC-by charts for comparison of St. Louis with other cities during the 1918 flu pandemicEdit

Weekly excess flu death rates per 100,000 for 4 US cities during the final 16 weeks of 1918
Weekly excess flu death rates per 100,000 for 4 US cities during the final 16 weeks of 1918 with data

I would like to have a graphical depiction of the outcomes due to different social distancing measures during the 1918 flu pandemic.

I am curious if anyone knows of any CC-by charts for comparison of St. Louis with other cities like Philadelphia or Boston in fall of 1918. Something like Excess Death Rate (per 100,000 population) found at:

Alternately, if I somehow could get access to the right data, I could put it into a spreadsheet & create a chart myself.

Peaceray (talk) 22:05, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Peaceray — The best comparison is probably the one by Hatchett et al. in PNAS 2007 ([ "doi: 10.1073/pnas.0610941104"]) between Philadelphia and St. Louis.
They seem also to have done good work in providing all the supplementary data at Supporting information. I'm not entirely sure, but it seems like the want tables 8–10 or 9–10 (my Excel seems to be bugged and I can't open them). Alternatively the data seems to be avialable in a "10. Sattenspiel L, Herring DA (2003) Bull Math Biol 65:1–26."Carl Fredrik talk 22:23, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
This seems to be the data source: [29]. Carl Fredrik talk 22:31, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
  • You want table 11 in the supporting information. Carl Fredrik talk 22:34, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Carl Fredrik, OK, thanks! Peaceray (talk) 22:56, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Please review. I was able to create charts from the data comparing Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, & Seattle, in png & jpeg formats, with & without supporting data. I noted when social distancing measures began, & the cities that effectively did that did show a "flattening of the curve". Unfortunately, Philadelphia started the day after a big public event. I guess the moral of that story is do not hold the biggest parade yet at the start of a pandemic. Peaceray (talk) 00:24, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I just noticed a mistake in the start key information. I will upload a corrected version. Peaceray (talk) 00:27, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Corrected versions uploaded! Peaceray (talk) 00:47, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

WikiJournal article on Epidemiology of Hep DEdit

Hi all. A new WikiJMed article has just been published on the Epidemiology of Hep D (doi:10.15347/wjm/2020.001). Since the Wikipedia page on Hep D lacked an epidemiology section, I've added the abstract from the wikijournal article However it might be logical to move over some more of the info. Since the full detail on epidemiology would overwhelm the Hep D page, would it make sense to create an Epidemiology of Hepatitis D page, seeded from the WikiJMed article's content (analogous to the Epidemiology_of_HIV/AIDS page)? T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 23:21, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

great article[30] and Epidemiology of Hepatitis D could be a good idea..IMO--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 12:22, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
That is a great article! I never knew about Hepatitis D as in Delta.   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) (I'm a man—traditional male pronouns are fine.) 13:57, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
In that case, I've created the page for now and linked to from the main Hep D article. Obviously, any edits and cleanup welcomed! T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 08:57, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
thank you--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 17:57, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Invitation to read The Signpost - COVID-19 in this issueEdit

Check out English Wikipedia's own community newspaper currently published every month. This issue includes some COVID-19 content. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:27, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Skene's gland article -- which title/name to use?Edit

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Skene's gland#Why is Wikipedia calling this the "Skene's gland" when the proper name is "female prostate". A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 01:58, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

commented--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 13:16, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Machine-readable data tables...Edit

I have an idea for wiki editors interested in medicine. We need to make our tables (and even the natural language data) machine readable. Recently I started a blood test coding project with Voiceflow so that I could hear my Echo sort blood panel data for me. My initial instinct was to use my own data, so I worked up a machine-readable sheet based on that. When I was done, I realized I could be more comprehensive by using the reference ranges from the reference ranges for blood test wiki page. Not unexpectedly, the data was all there, but not in a format that can be read and processed for voice interface by a machine.

This kind of formatting is really simple as I'm sure many of you know. And it would be a big help to Voice Interface designers to have preformatted data tables laid out so that they don't have to format them themselves. My suggestion is that we lobby with Wikipedia to implement a policy that all medical data tables be formatted for machine reading. If that worked well, that policy could carry over to all wiki tables in general, giving our AIs greater depth of access to the information existing on Wikipedia. I would also suggest machine-readable formatting guidelines for any of the natural language data, but it helps to start small with the data tables and see if that works well.

Does anyone out there think this is a worthwhile suggestion?

-Burt Pauling- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burt Pauling (talkcontribs) 21:17, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

I think you have little chance of ever creating a policy that required editors to duplicate tables or write them in some other format. Wikitables are, of course machine readable; you just need the right machine. From what I know about Voiceflow (not a lot), it is perfectly capable of reading JSON using response.feed, so I suggest you look at ways of turning wikitables into JSON that can then be imported into your Voiceflow applications. StackExchange already has suggestions on that, and the replies at look promising. Maybe find out more about OpenRefine, or check out if any of the wiki-bots can do that job for you. --RexxS (talk) 23:23, 31 March 2020 (UTC)


Hi, there is a misleading medical comment on Neutropenia with a query on Talk:Neutropenia. ϢereSpielChequers 12:07, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

have commented--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 13:13, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Medicine".