When was the last time you used Wikipedia? With more than 7 billion views a year on over 155,000 health topic pages, Wikipedia may be the most popular online health information resource. Acknowledging that Wikipedia is a highly trafficked source for health related topics, it is vital to improve the content and citations provided in health and medicine articles to ensure that health professionals, patients, and other library users have access to high-quality, reliable information.
Building on the success of two past events, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is continuing its efforts to improve consumer health information on Wikipedia with its third Edit-a-Thon event on May 6, 2019. Using trusted National Library of Medicine resources like PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Genetics Home Reference, we will be working to add citations to existing Wikipedia articles related to health equity. New to editing Wikipedia? Get ready for the event by watching this one-hour previous training hosted by Dr. James Heilman, a physician and active WikiProject Medicine editor. In this introductory session, Dr. Heilman provides an overview of the importance of Wikipedia and demonstrates how to add a citation to existing articles.
New for this Edit-a-Thon is an in-person editing session held at the Medical Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. Led by Aimee Gogan, Alicia Lillich, and Elaina Vitale, the immersion session will describe the importance of Wikipedia as a resource for health information and how librarians can utilize their research skills to make Wikipedia a better evidence-based resource. Not only will attendees participate in live editing of health equity articles, they will become part of a community of Wikipedians dedicated to improving health information. If you will be attending MLA, please join us on Monday, May 6, from 2:00 PM – 3:25 PM for this lively and engaging session! No RSVP or prior Wikipedia experience is required. Participants should bring their own laptops or tablets and create a free Wikipedia account in advance.
Whether you attend the immersion session at MLA or host an event at your organization, we look forward to working with you on May 6 to improve health equity information on Wikipedia. Check out the project page for a guide to virtual participation or view the video invitation for more information about how to participate, and be sure to follow along on Twitter throughout the day with the hashtag #citeNLM to ask questions, post photos, and share your Wikipedia experience. See you on May 6!