Editorials

WikiProject Medicine

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3387 (Published 08 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3387
  1. Lyndal Trevena, associate professor
  1. 1Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  1. lyndal.trevena{at}sydney.edu.au

Could become a trusted resource if it is assisted not shunned

In January 2011, members of WikiProject Medicine published an article about the intricacies, strengths, and weaknesses of Wikipedia as a source of health information and compared it with other medical wikis.1 The article poses some interesting challenges and opportunities for the global community as Wikipedia’s seven year old WikiProject Medicine reaches an estimated 150 million viewers every month.

The claimed usage of Wikiproject Medicine is just under half of the 362 million monthly viewers of its parent Wikipedia, which is now the sixth most popular site on the internet.2 This seems set to rise if search engines such as Google continue to show this site at the top of search results and with an upcoming iPhone application that will make it even more convenient and accessible.

The WikiProject Medicine group within Wikipedia has developed systems that make this project superior to many other health wikis and provide the potential for future improvements. These systems include grading of article quality and importance, a set of referencing guidelines for authors, and links to PubMed Plus and PubMed from …

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