Participation of intellectual professions

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Participation of intellectual professions

jmh649
I see a number of issues holding professionals back from contributing:

1) Some do not realize that it is possible to edit Wikipedia ( I hear this
at work when people ask me how I became an editor ).  Maybe we should
advertise the fact that yes you too can edit Wikipedia.

2) Many are just not interested.  In medicine we have had issues with
getting physicians to do continuing medical education.  Many just want to do
their job and that is it.  Contributing to Wikipedia is work.  However
students are required to do work and I think this is one of the populations
which would be easiest to attract.  McGill University may have started a
Wikipedia club.  Promoting these may be useful.

3) A great deal of competition to Wikipedia has sprung up such as
Radiopeadia ( which does not allow commercial use of images ), Medpedia (
which only allow professionals to contribute ), and Wikidocs ( which has
more technical content ).  Each addressing some perceived drawback in
Wikipedia.  None however has received the viewership of Wikipedia but of
course cuts into the pool of available volunteers.  Medpedia has partnered
with a number of very respected Universities.  I think we could learn
something for each of these formats such as clarification around image
copyright and that CC does not mean you lose the rights to it, greater
exposure of the professionals who already contribute, etc.

4) Wikipedia has received negative press in professional publications.  We
need to address these negativities most of which are false.  Currently a
number of us at WikiProject Med are writing a paper for publication
promoting Wikipedia as a health care information resource.  Other subject
areas should do the same.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, B.Sc.
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Re: Participation of intellectual professions

Fred Bauder-2
> I see a number of issues holding professionals back from contributing:
>
> 1) Some do not realize that it is possible to edit Wikipedia ( I hear
> this
> at work when people ask me how I became an editor ).  Maybe we should
> advertise the fact that yes you too can edit Wikipedia.

This, I think, probably accounts for most who might participate but
don't. Senior academics write books and journal articles. They don't fool
around on the internet for hours like we do.

>
> 2) Many are just not interested.  In medicine we have had issues with
> getting physicians to do continuing medical education.

A high percentage of practicing physicians, about 50%, regularly consult
Wikipedia and many do contribute. Which is not a surprising reaction to
discovery of minor or major errors and omissions. I suspect it is
precisely the ones who don't keep up adequately with their continuing
education who are most likely to consult Wikipedia. (It is a lazy way of
researching anything)

> Many just want to
> do
> their job and that is it.  Contributing to Wikipedia is work.  However
> students are required to do work and I think this is one of the
> populations
> which would be easiest to attract.  McGill University may have started a
> Wikipedia club.  Promoting these may be useful.

Students are our core constituency.

>
> 3) A great deal of competition to Wikipedia has sprung up such as
> Radiopeadia ( which does not allow commercial use of images ), Medpedia (
> which only allow professionals to contribute ), and Wikidocs ( which has
> more technical content ).  Each addressing some perceived drawback in
> Wikipedia.  None however has received the viewership of Wikipedia but of
> course cuts into the pool of available volunteers.

Nearly all of us who have created alternative sites continue to
participate on Wikipedia to some extent.

> Medpedia has
> partnered
> with a number of very respected Universities.  I think we could learn
> something for each of these formats such as clarification around image
> copyright and that CC does not mean you lose the rights to it, greater
> exposure of the professionals who already contribute, etc.
>
> 4) Wikipedia has received negative press in professional publications.
> We
> need to address these negativities most of which are false.  Currently a
> number of us at WikiProject Med are writing a paper for publication
> promoting Wikipedia as a health care information resource.  Other subject
> areas should do the same.

Yes, nearly always issues are raised which are off-point or ancient
history. Just as a political campaign has a "war room" to respond to such
press we should make a point of responding. David Gerard has done a great
deal of this, particularly in the U.K.

>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, B.Sc.

Fred Bauder



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