Submissions:2021/WikiProject Clinical Trials, Wikipedia for Research

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2021.


WikiProject Clinical Trials, Wikipedia for Research


Global & Local, Relationship Building & Support, Inclusion & Diversity

Type of session:



File:WikiProject Clinical Trials.pdf <---SLIDES

This talk has two parts: a specific presentation of WikiProject Clinical Trials, and a general discussion of Wikipedia's future as a platform for research.

WikiProject Clinical Trials is a Wikidata project which began with the import of the United States government medical research database at We give an overview of what we took into the Wikipedia ecosystem and how we matched content there to a wiki data model.

While clinical trials and medical research are important in themselves, and even while clinical trials became much more relevant to everyone in the context of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, we discuss how the import of clinical trials into Wikidata is just an early step toward re-imagining Wikipedia as a platform for research. Importing clinical trials data into the wiki ecosystem changed the nature of the information by adding otherwise inaccessible context, including become biographies of researchers, profiles of named organizations, referrals to related publications in WikiCite, and data visualizations including points on maps where community stakeholders volunteered to make sacrifices for research. Although in this case we profiled medical research, the same process will someday model research projects of any kind whether in humanities, sciences, or civics. Understanding this process will speed the migration of well-funded medical technology into underserved academic fields.

This is a presentation for everyone and requires no background in medicine, data science, or Wikidata.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Lane Rasberry

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

University of Virginia

Estimated time:

presentation preferred, lighting talk possible

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)