Developed with: Funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region
Length: 4 weeks
Schedule: This course has completed, see note below for alternate offering information.
is a go-to resource for health and medical information, not just for the
general public but for health care providers as well. Over 50% of physicians and 94%
of medical students use Wikipedia to find medical information on the Internet.*
It may be popular but library staff want to know how reliable it is and how they
can assess that reliability on behalf of their patrons. This course will help you
build the knowledge and skills you
need to confidently guide your patrons to authoritative
medical and health information online.
It consists of weekly live online sessions, online discussion forums, reading and activities where public library staff participants will gain insight into the value of Wikipedia as a viable reference and build the skills and knowledge needed to evaluate articles on Wikipedia for themselves and their patrons, with a specific focus on health and medical topics.
This course will cover
- The inner workings of Wikipedia, how the online encyclopedia is built by volunteer editors, how libraries are involved, and why this matters for health and medical information
- The Five Pillars, or fundamental principles of Wikipedia that guide editor participation, and Conflicts of Interest
- Wikipedia health and medicine article standards (WP:MEDRS) and reference criteria in order to evaluate reliability and access additional authoritative information.
- WikiProject Medicine, an organization of volunteers dedicated to developing, maintaining, and promoting accurate medical information on Wikipedia.
- The resources, services and training that NNLM offers public library staff
- Getting started with editing Wikipedia references and links
As a result of participating, you will be able to
- Confidently evaluate the reliability of health and medical articles found in Wikipedia
- Engage and empower your community members to build information literacy skills and to access authoritative information on health-related topics
- Identify the reliable sources guidelines and article standards for health-related content; understand the significance of different types of Wikipedia references
- Understand the history, organization, guidelines, and editorial processes of Wikipedia, and apply this knowledge to library work
- Edit citations and know where to go for editing help outside the boundaries of the course
We anticipate a total time commitment of 12 hours over four weeks. This will include four 60-minute live online sessions, independent readings, online discussion forums, and activities between sessions.
* Heilman, James M; West, Andrew G (2015). "Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 17 (3): e62
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Dale Musselman.
THIS COURSE HAS COMPLETED. LOOK FOR THIS COURSE TO BE OFFERED IN THE FUTURE BY THE NATIONAL NETWORK OF LIBRARIES OF MEDICINE.
This course is made possible with funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region.