Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language

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Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language

The post below is something that I posted to the HIFA2015 Dgroup on 9 March. I think it is also of relevance for people who are interested in improving sanitation-related content on Wikipedia (see the WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation ), as sanitation and health are so closely connected.

+++++++++++

Hey All

A friend and I just published a fairly indepth analysis of the size of
Wikipedia's medical content as well as who reads and writes its. Open access
of course :-)

www.jmir.org/2015/3/e62/

Few highlights include:

1) medical content received about 6.5 billion page views in 2013 (include
mobile that is about 30%)

2) Wikipedia appears to be the single most used website for health
information globally

3) its health content is more than 1 billion bytes of text across more than
255 languages (equal to 127 volumes the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica)

4) nearly 1 million references support this content and the number of refs
have more than double since 2009

5) what people look up depends on language much more than we initially
believed (an interesting finding which needs further investigation)

6) the core community of editors is less than 300 and has shrunk
significantly over the last 5 years


Best

James

--

HIFA profile: James Heilman is a Wikipedian and works with Wiki Project Med
Foundation, a charity whose mission is to make clear, reliable,
comprehensive, up-to-date educational resources and information in the
biomedical and related social sciences freely available to all people in the
language of their choice. He is an Emergency Room Physician in Cranbrook,
British Columbia, and a Clinical Instructor at the University of British
Columbia. jmh649 AT gmail.com

James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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