Submissions/Translators Without Borders and Wikipedia collaborating to Improve Medical Content

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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Submission no.
Subject no.
Translators Without Borders and Wikipedia Collaborating to Improve Medical Content
Wiki Project Med
Type of submission
Author of the submission

James Heilman and Lori Thicke

Country of origin



Wikiproject Med. Foundation, Translators Without Borders

E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog

Translators Without Borders and Wikiproject Medicine / Wiki. Med. began collaborating on efforts to bring high quality health care content to all people in all languages via Wikipedia in 2011. Since that time more than 175 translations have occurred into more than 30 languages. The hope is to have 80 core article of high quality in more than 80 languages. This project aims to take down language barriers to Wikipedia content, particularly for communities just coming online thanks to mobile technology.

Detailed proposal

In English the medical content on Wikipedia got about 230 million page views in Feb of 2013[1], or about 3% of all page-views for that language. This makes Wikipedia the number one used medical resource in English globally. The project that curates medical content (Wikiproject Medicine) rates medical articles both by quality and by importance. A collection of 80 articles deemed to be of key importance got about 12 million page views in Feb of 2013 (5% of the page-views for medical content) although they represent only a fraction of the total number of medical articles (26,000). While medical content is fairly well developed in a few other primarily European languages, little medical content exists in most of Wikipedia's other 285 languages. What makes developing content in these languages difficult is that most sources for medicine are written in English.

Thus in 2011 Wikiproject Medicine formed a collaborative effort with Translators Without Borders (TWB) to first improve key medical content in English to at least Good Article or Featured Article status followed by translation by volunteers into as many other languages as possible.[2] Translators without Borders is a US-based non profit started in 1993 which donates translations to other non-profit organizations using crowdsourcing via a community of certified volunteer translators. The number of volunteers which participate with the organization is around 1600 and growing steadily. This talk is going to be an overview of our progress as well as a discussion of some of the hurdles we have encountered. It will also place the project in the context of unequal access to health information and discuss how the combination of removing language barriers and advances with Wikipedia Zero opens up opportunities for democratizing global access to global knowledge. There will be an opportunity for those who are interested to ask questions and become involved.

Cultural and Education Outreach
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
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  1. Jeromy-Yu Chan, COIC (talk) 14:19, 30 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Asaifm (talk) 08:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Ijon (talk) 19:46, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Vini 175 (talk) 04:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. This project is a model for crowdsourcing collaboration between Wikimedia projects and any other institution, as well as being fascinating for what it is on its own. Blue Rasberry (talk) 08:51, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. അമിർ എ. അഹരൊനി (talk) 20:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Slashme (talk) 19:01, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. I'd love to hear an update on this project. -- Phoebe (talk) 02:02, 11 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Netha Hussain
  10. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 22:21, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Amqui (talk) 21:01, 25 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:14, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Multichill (talk) 14:02, 4 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  14. GastelEtzwane (talk) 15:56, 4 May 2013 (UTC) It is a good idea to collaborate with different NGOs and help them increase our knowledge base.[reply]
  15. Superbellymonster (talk) 03:24, 8 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  16. --Jduranboger (talk) 01:54, 31 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]