Medical research experts on Wikipedia

Though I haven’t been extremely busy on Wikipedia lately, I’ve been an administrator there for 3 years. I’m always glad when medical professionals come to edit articles, improve the quality and insert proper references into the medical entries. Yesterday, I saw this:

The National Institutes of Health and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates the Wikipedia® online encyclopedia, are joining forces to make health and science information more accessible and reliable. This collaboration is the first of its kind for both organizations.

In these days when the number of page requests for flu or influenza is rising, it’s even more important to cover medical issues properly. From Wikimedia Blog:

wikipedia_NIH_jul09

Kevin Pho from Kevin, MD wrote in a recent article:

This isn’t to say patients shouldn’t research their medical conditions to become better informed. But it’s imperative that patients not rely on Wikipedia as the primary source of their health research. Websites sponsored by the government, academic medical centers, or professional medical societies all have more authoritative information that can be relied upon.

As Wikipedians always say, Wikipedia is a perfect place to start your research, but should never be the one you finish your search with.

Update: Susannah Fox shared her notes about the event on e-Patients.net.