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Submissions/Informal education of physicians in Wikipedia and other channels

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission

Informal education of physicians in Wikipedia and other channels

Type of submission


Author of the submission

Thomas Schmidt and Matti Blume

Country of origin



TU Braunschweig

E-mail address



NetAction and MB-one

Personal homepage or blog



Based on the research work of Thomas Schmidt this presentation will focus on Wikipedia as a tool of informal learning of physicians. His studies shown that, while many other channels are designed to connect medical professionals with each other and educational content, very few are actually used in this way. Surprisingly Wikipedia is one of them. Using this insight, we want to tap the underlying potential.

Detailed proposal

According to recent studies informal education contributes about 70 % to professional knowledge. Since informal education goes from person to person, it is traditionally hard to manage by stakeholders. But now through the internet the possibilities to do so are getting better. We researched the utilization of different web 2.0 channels like twitter, facebook, blogs, video portals and forums for information regarding diagnostics within the first trimester of pregnancy. Although the focus was on the Germany, our findings are also true in other countries. Activities in Wikipedia (articles and discussion pages related to medicinal topics) are overshadowing any other channel. 34 % of the contributors to the monitored articles declared to be physicians. But the actual number is most likely even higher. Thanks to this, the medical-related articles have good quality. The implication of this research is, that wikipedia is an important factor for informal education and of significant value to the medical community. But they haven’t realized it yet. The next step will be, to approach small and middle sized hospital operators, ask them about education strategies and policies and raise awareness for the potential value of investments in free content. The goal would be, that hospital operators are willing to dedicate resources (contribution as working time, images, data etc) not as a donation but as some form of investment in the quality of their staff. In our talk, we will show the results of these approaches and make a showcase for wikipedias all over the world.

  • Cultural and Educational Outreach
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk


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  1. അമിർ എ. അഹരൊനി (talk) 20:31, 5 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I would appreciate your sharing information you have with meta:Wiki Project Med. I will message them about this presentation. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Slashme (talk) 17:44, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Béria Lima msg 19:21, 18 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 23:16, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:48, 4 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. GastelEtzwane (talk) 15:27, 4 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Superbellymonster (talk) 02:35, 8 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]