Rewriting Wikipedia


The Wikipedia editing team at Dundee Dental School

Have you ever looked at information about dentistry or oral health on Wikipedia and wondered about how accurate it is?

Nour Geres, who has just graduated from the University of Dundee Dental School, thought that many of the dentistry-related articles she read on the site were of poor quality. With the help of Cochrane, she is leading a project to improve the information using evidence-based sources, including Cochrane reviews.

Nour says “I was made aware by Sydney Poore (a former Cochrane Wikipedian-in-Residence) of the inaccuracy and deficiency of dental articles, as well as the shortage of dentists editing the website. I was passionate about leading the initiative as from experience I found this was the case and was rather disappointed at the lack of information on Wikipedia.”

Cochrane initially provided some help with training, and a Wikipedia editing team was established with Nour and the students at Dundee Dental School, who are all working on a voluntary basis. The team first looked at topics that had been covered by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP), including management of caries and oral health management of patients prescribed bisphosphonates. The team are editing existing articles with up-to-date references and improving the accuracy, but they are also looking for gaps where articles are entirely absent and working on creating new pages as well.

The project is looking to expand in the coming months, recruiting and training more students in the next academic year, and identifying more Wikipedia articles in need of improvement with the help of clinicians. The team will also be keeping an eye on Cochrane Oral Health publications, to make sure the findings are reflected in the resource.


A training session for the editing team


Cochrane Oral Health Co-ordinating Editor Jan Clarkson talks to the team

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