Not-for-profit global healthcare research network The Cochrane Collaboration has entered into 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% of these have passed a formal peer review process. This opens up a unique opportunity for Cochrane 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.
“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,” says Mark Wilson, CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration. “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.”
Dr James Heilman, Wikiproject Medicine Foundation Board of Directors, says in a release: “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.”