Cochrane-Wikipedia Initiative: Hands-on workshop to help improve health content that people are accessing online
Background: Improving the quality and reliability of online health articles that are accessed regularly across the internet is a significant challenge. Millions of people access medical articles on Wikipedia each day across 286 different languages. On English language Wikipedia alone, 40,000 human health and medicine articles are viewed billions of times a year, often surpassing the viewership of more reliable sources such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for topics including information about COVID-19. Cochrane partnered with Wikipedia in 2014 with the joint goal of improving the reliability of health information accessed on Wikipedia. As of 2023, 3,400 Cochrane Systematic Reviews published in the past 10 years help inform evidence in medical articles shared on English Wikipedia. There are additional ongoing initiatives in other languages including Spanish, Dutch, French, Malay, and German Wikipedias. Many Cochrane community members and volunteers participate in this initiative, collaborating with the Wikipedia editing community and using high-quality and trusted evidence to correct errors of omission, expand medical articles, and remove unreliable or outdated content shared on Wikipedia.
Objectives: The first objective of this workshop is to encourage more people with a background in interpreting and sharing evidence to consider Wikipedia in their knowledge translation and dissemination projects. The second objective is to enable these individuals with the skills that they need to move forward together and improve this commonly accessed resource using trusted evidence.
Description: This workshop is a hands-on session that will introduce the project and provide an opportunity for participants to edit Wikipedia with in-person support from Cochrane’s Wikipedian in Residence. Participants will have the following learning objectives: 1) describe how health-related evidence is shared on Wikipedia; 2) understand how to create a personal Wikipedia editing account; and 3) be able to add evidence from at least one trusted source to a health-related Wikipedia article.