Submissions:2016/Why medical schools should embrace Wikipedia

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Why medical schools should embrace Wikipedia
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
(presenter to be determined), but credit to
  • Amin Azzam, MD, MA
  • David Bresler, MD, MA
  • Armando Leon, MD
  • Lauren Maggio, PhD
  • Evans Whitaker, MD, MLIS
  • James Heilman, MD, BSc
  • Jake Orlowitz, BA
  • Valerie Swisher, BA
  • Lane Rasberry, BS
  • Kingsley Otoide, BS
  • Fred Trotter, BS
  • Will Ross, BS
  • Jack McCue, MD
E-mail address
bluerasberry and various
various, but especially University of California, San Francisco

"Why medical schools should embrace Wikipedia: Analysis of final-year medical student contributions to Wikipedia articles for academic credit at one school" is a paper which will be published in Academic Medicine soon. Any of the papers' authors who are able to attend WikiConference would like to present its findings.

The abstract -

At the end of 2013, Wikipedia's medical content contained over 155,000 articles across 255 languages, supported by over 950,000 references. While students use Wikipedia as an information source, health-professional schools don't train students to improve or use Wikipedia critically. Between November 2013 - March 2016, the authors offered fourth-year medical students a credit-bearing course to edit Wikipedia. The course was designed, delivered and evaluated by faculty, medical librarians, WikiProject Medicine, Wikipedia Education Foundation, and Translators Without Borders. The authors assessed the impact of the student edits on Wikipedia's content, the impact of the course on student participants, and readership of students' chosen articles. Fifty enrolled students made 1,875 edits to 44 Wikipedia pages that were viewed 1,659,065 times during the active-editing months. In two subsequent years, none of the contributions of the first 28 students were reversed or vandalized. From the 2014 - 2016, 241 pharmacy students completed the Wikipedia-editing assignment. They made over 3000 edits to 147 Wikipedia pages that were viewed 2,017,505 times during the active-editing months. Students discovered a tension between comprehensiveness vs. readability and translatability, yet readability of most articles increased. Students felt they improved their articles, enjoyed giving back "specifically to Wikipedia," and broadened their sense of physician responsibilities in the socially networked information era. Subsequent to students' efforts, these articles have been viewed over 22 million times. If other schools replicate and improve on this initiative, future multi-institution studies could more accurately measure the impact of medical students on Wikipedia, and vice versa.

Length of presentation
30 minutes
Special schedule requests
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  1. --Pine (talk) 02:59, 19 August 2016 (EDT) Lane: is the inclusion of "(spam text removed)" in the abstract an accident?
    No, it was no accident that spambots insert text in odd places. I removed that! Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:19, 19 August 2016 (EDT)
  2. --Psanchez820 (talk) 08:49, 20 August 2016 (EDT)
  3. Andycyca (talk) 18:12, 22 August 2016 (EDT)
  4. LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 13:44, 25 August 2016 (EDT)
  5. Add your username here.