Wikipedia meets Cochrane: working to get better evidence into mass use

Bastian H, Heilman J, Tharyan P

There are several million visits to medical-related Wikipedia pages every day. Surveys suggest that most doctors and medical students (over 90% in one study) rely on the Wikipedia for medical information. As Wikipedia expands in more languages, its critical importance as a source of free information globally is increasing. Wikipedia’s Project Medicine is eager to incorporate Cochrane reviews and contributors in the Wikipedia. Ensuring the quality of the Wikipedia is a community responsibility that is likely to be of interest to many Collaboration members. In this session, the first presentation (James Heilman from WikiProject Medicine) will focus on discussing the scope and use of Wikipedia, as well as explaining WikiProject Medicine,Wikipedia’s editorial processes and the opportunities for academic contributions to the development of the WikiProject.The second presentation (Hilda Bastian from Pubmed at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the NIH) will discuss the quality of medically-related Wikipedia pages, and how to incorporate Wikipedia into research and knowledge translation work, using PubMed Health’s Wikipedia-related activities as an example.The third presentation (PrathapTharyan) will discuss the relevance of Wikipedia for the Cochrane Collaboration and the Collaboration’s plans for working with Wikipedia. He will describe the project between the South Asian Cochrane Centre and Wikipedia.

Target audience and level of expertise: Anyone interested in the Wikipedia. No specific level of expertise.