Submissions:2014/Wikipedia, Medicine and Language

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Title of the submission
Wikipedia, Medicine and Language
Community, Outreach
Type of submission
Author of the submission
James Heilman
E-mail address
US state or country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wiki Project Med Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia in January of 2014 was referred to as “the single leading source of medical information for patients and healthcare professionals” by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. It is a source of information for 50% to 70% of physicians in clinical practice and has also been reported as the single most used resource by medical students. The medical parts are composed of more than 150,000 articles in 255 languages which if printed out would be equal to 127 volumes of the encyclopedia Britannica.

While it is incredibly used and has a substantial amount of content, the number of active editors is surprisingly small. In 2013 a total of 274 human editors made more than 250 edits to Wikipedia's medical content (114 in English and 160 in another other 38 languages). It sometimes feels like Wikipedia is the Wizard of Oz, being such an academic powerhouse based on a hand full of part time volunteers.

Wikipedia's coverage and contributors is also mostly in a small number of dominant languages. Would like to discuss what is being done by the small group of volunteers at Wiki Project Med Foundation to expand content in as many languages as possible in partnership with organizations like Translators Without Borders and increase Wikipedia's medical editors by partnering with organizations such as the Cochrane Collaboration (WiR starting soon), the National Institute of Health, the University of Calfornia San Fransico College of Medicine, and Cancer Research UK (WiR also starting soon).

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
60 Minutes
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Still working on them. They will be release under a CC BY SA license when ready.
Special request as to time of presentations
Okay with any.

Interested attendees

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  1. Hildabast (talk) 16:48, 13 March 2014 (EDT)
  2. Jeremyb (talk) 17:12, 31 May 2014 (EDT)