Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quality-controlled wiki-based medical textbooks

Pamela Lewis Dolan, Physician wikis: Do-it-yourself textbooks, American Medical Association News, May 7, 2007.  Only the opening paragraphs are free online, at least so far.  Excerpt:

Four cardiology fellows at the Cleveland Clinic recently launched a Web site on a platform they believe could be the medical textbook of the future -- the wiki....

At least 30 medical wikis have popped up, with topics ranging from radiology to billing to rosacea. Most have few contributors, but all have similar goals -- to create a more vibrant, up-to-date conversation and library of knowledge than can be found in a textbook or journal.

"Our goal is to really develop a comprehensive body of knowledge that is up-to-date and accurate and very accessible," said Brian Jefferson, MD, an AskDrWiki co-founder.

AskDrWiki, modeled after the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, was created as a place where a group of cardiologists could share and exchange information in a wiki format that could be accessed from anywhere....

As more medical wikis launch, experts say the creators will need to break away from the traditional wiki model to ensure that the information accessed is accurate. That is what many medical wikis are doing, which makes adding content slower but allows time for fact-checking....