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Cochrane announces partnership initiative with Wikiproject Medicine

Press Release
11 February 2014                              

New Wikiproject Medicine partnership boosts content
100 free accounts to The Cochrane Library for Wikipedia editors

Today, The Cochrane Collaboration* officially announces a new partnership with Wikiproject Medicine, to improve the reliability and accessibility of Wikipedia medical information online.

Articles relating to medicine are viewed more than 180 million times per month on Wikipedia, yet, less than 1 per cent of these have passed a formal peer review process. This opens up a unique opportunity for Cochrane, the independent, global healthcare research network, to share expertise and work with Wikipedia editors to transform the quality and content of health evidence available online.

The resource and assistance given to editors will help to encourage the inclusion of evidence within all articles and make sure that medical information included in Wikipedia is of the highest quality and as accurate as possible. Trusted, evidence based research can help people to make informed decisions about their own healthcare.

Mark Wilson, CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration, said: “Cochrane evidence has been used for the past 20 years to inform health decisions. We are committed to helping improve the world’s health through high quality, up-to-date research evidence and this new partnership is a fantastic way to make information accessible in an easy to digest format. Cochrane is also giving away 100 free accounts to The Cochrane Library, as part of our commitment to help experienced Wikipedia editors. We hope this will help to transform the quality of the health information available to the people who need it.”

More and more people turn online to find out information on health related issues, but they may not always be reading credible sources. With people seeking to educate themselves about health issues and a growing trend in digital health, people are becoming even more reliant on alternative sources (other sources than their GP) for their health information, the validity of these sources is crucial.

Dr James Heilman, Wikiproject Medicine Foundation Board of Directors, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Cochrane Collaboration.  Much of Wikipedia can still use improvement and we know  that  with  the support  of  research  evidence  experts,  our  goal  to  create  easy-to-read, thoroughly referenced articles can be more easily reached and maintained.”

The Cochrane and Wikiproject Medicine partnership is officially announced today, 11 February 2014, and will be on-going to ensure the maximum benefit possible for people using online resources to find out about health.

*The Cochrane Collaboration creates, updates and promotes Cochrane Reviews to help people make well-informed decisions about health care. There are currently more than 5,000 reviews.

 -Ends-

Editor’s notes: 

1)     For further information, please contact: Katie Breeze, Tel: 01865 318573 Email: kbreeze@cochrane.org or email: pressoffice@cochrane.org

2)     Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, health professionals and consumers of health care; carers, advocates and people interested in health. It responds to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. www.cochrane.org

3)     Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

4)     Wikiproject Medicine is an online space for people interested in medical and health content on Wikipedia to discuss, collaborate and debate the issues. Wikipedia is a web-based, multilingual, free-content encyclopaedia. It is the sixth most visited site and the most used medical resource on the internet. In the 12 years since its creation, Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest reference websites, attracting over 500 million unique visitors monthly. With more than 80,000 active voluntary contributors working on over 26 million articles in 285 language.

Contributor's Information
Contributor's name: 
Cochrane CEAD
Email address: 
pressoffice@cochrane.org
Updated on: May 22, 2014, 16:48