A wicked encyclopaediaBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3814 (Published 16 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3814
All rapid responses
As David Rothman who blogs about medical informatics put it in a posting, "It is as ridiculous to say “wikis are good” or “wikis are bad” as it would be to say that “books are good” or “books are bad.”"(1)
He has a useful list of 69 medical wikis on his site at http://davidrothman.net/list-of-medical-wikis/ and these vary with who can make what changes (just as Wikipedia also locks certain entries that can be e-vandalised and entries are reviewed by the administrators). These range from "Ask Dr Wiki" where licenced clinical professionals can contribute to "WiserWiki" which is provided as a free service by the publishers Elsevier.
Many medical students also use Wikipedia "because it was easy to understand, they felt it was reasonably reliable, and accessible."(2)
Wikis are the libraries of the future mainly as they are contemporaneous as succinctly limiricked by Medical Blogger Dr Richard Reece(3)
"There once was a dermatologist who consulted a wiki,
About a strange, exotic, mysterious cutaneous hickey.
She knew, of course, the wiki would be contemporaneous,
Relevant, extemporaneous, spontaneous but not extraneous,
Even though the source was not from the almighty picky."
1. http://davidrothman.net/2008/01/12/acp-internist-on- medical-wikis/
Competing interests: None declared