A Cochrane - Wiki collaborative effort in evidence dissemination: A concept note

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Abstract text
Background: Wikipedia has been accepted world wide as a source of free information by both laypeople and experts. Its community-driven approach has ensured that the information presented caters to a wide variety of people. A recent article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that a significant number of experts and doctors consult Wikipedia’s medicine-related topics. The Cochrane Collaboration is increasingly giving importance to the dissemination and optimal utilization of evidence it generates. The above scenario presents a unique collaborative opportunity for both organizations.

Aim: To increase the visibility of evidence from The Cochrane Library among the general public through the popular knowledge portal, Wikipedia.

Strategy: As a first step, we are in the process of gathering a group of at least twelve dedicated authors who would write and edit evidence-related content on Wikipedia. The group would constitute a Wikipedia task force under the WikiProject Medicine, which deals with medicine-related content. The impact of our project could be monitored based on the ranking of The Cochrane Library on the ‘Most Cited Academic Journals’ page and based on redirects from Wikipedia to The Cochrane Library.
We have already engaged a WikiProject Medicine author, who is an expert in Wikipedia methodology, to guide us. We have also gathered a group five authors who are interested in the project. To pilot the idea, we plan to improve articles related to malaria and upgrade them to the status of “Good article”. Once we have piloted this project successfully, we would focus our efforts towards integrating this into the regular dissemination process of Cochrane entities.

Conclusion: This project appears to be a valuable strategy to increase the visibility of the evidence generated by the Collaboration to a worldwide audience.
Easow Mathew M1, Cherian A1, Joseph A1, Thomas George A1, Kirubakaran R1, Tharyan P1
1 South Asian Cochrane Centre and Network
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Manu Easow Mathew
Contact person Affiliation Country
Ann Cherian (Contact this person) South Asian Cochrane Network and Center India
Anna Joseph (Contact this person) South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre India
Aneesh Thomas George (Contact this person) South Asian Cochrane Centre India
Richard Kirubakaran (Contact this person) South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre India