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Creating a better Wikipedia for all

Toronto, November 7, 2018

By Emily Dawson

Glyneva Bradley-Ridout (l) and Teruko Kishibe
Glyneva Bradley-Ridout (l) and Teruko Kishibe, two librarians from the Health Sciences Library at St. Michael’s Hospital

Two librarians from the Health Sciences Library at St. Michael’s Hospital are participating in an international effort on Nov. 7 to add citations on the most important women’s health entries in Wikipedia.

Teruko Kishibe and Glyneva Bradley-Ridout are working with other librarians across North America in a women’s health Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon – organized through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) – to boost the credibility of information on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a web-based, free-content encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable content. As such, the reliability of the information can be a concern.

“Wikipedia is a critical source for health-care consumers, med students, and practitioners,” said Kishibe.

One study showed that health-related Wikipedia pages had 4.9 billion views in 2013 while a separate survey showed that 94 per cent of medical students use it for health information. Our NNLM community wants to help ensure people are accessing the most up-to-date, credible information.”

This is the second such Edit-a-Thon coordinated by the NNLM. The first focused on rare diseases, where there was an urgent need for reliable citations.

“I’m pleased that women’s health is the focus this time around; studies have shown that women, as a whole, use the internet more for health-related info and tend to be the primary caregivers within family structures,” said Bradley-Ridout.

Kishibe and Bradley-Ridout attended three virtual training sessions to help prepare them for the task, and all Edit-a-Thon participants have been asked to use specific resources for the citations for consistency and accuracy.

“This will be the first time a St. Michael’s librarian has participated in an Edit-a-Thon,” said Bradley-Ridout. “It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the accuracy of Wikipedia and join like-minded people in this effort.”

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

St. Michael’s Hospital with Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre now operate under one corporate entity as of August 1, 2017. United, the three organizations serve patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education.

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