Featured Workshop: Wikipedia for Health Sciences Students

HSLS offers classes in a wide array of subjects—citation management, database searching, bibliographic management, and more! You can quickly view all Upcoming Classes and Events or sign up to receive the weekly Upcoming HSLS Classes and Workshops email.

Our upcoming featured workshop is Wikipedia for Health Sciences Students. The first workshop in this two-part series will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 2-3 p.m. The second workshop will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 1-2:30 p.m.

Register for both sessions*:

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia known for its abundance of information on a vast range of topics, including biomedical subjects. A vital component of Wikipedia is the community of volunteers who help to create and improve content through a model of open collaboration. Since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time, it has gained a reputation for being an unreliable source of information.

Despite widespread skepticism of its value, studies have shown that the quality of information on Wikipedia is generally similar to other encyclopedias. Further, its health information is extremely widely used by the public, as well as students and professionals: Wikipedia’s biomedical articles are accessed 7 billion times per year, and over 90% of medical students and 50-70% of physicians report using these articles.

In the first part of this two-part series, participants will learn how Wikipedia’s biomedical content is created and how to evaluate and use it effectively. The second session will give participants the skills needed to actively contribute to Wikipedia’s health content and will include a live editing activity.

This workshop is ideal for students in any health sciences field, who are likely using Wikipedia in their learning and research. Critically evaluating and editing Wikipedia can help students:

  • practice research and health information communication skills
  • develop information evaluation skills necessary for future research and practice
  • gain familiarity with reliable health information resources for both the general public and healthcare providers
  • develop confidence in contributing to the wider body of biomedical knowledge

If you are unable to attend, this scheduled session can also be repeated on request. Request a customized session of Wikipedia for Health Sciences Students and other HSLS workshops for your course, group, or department.

Contact Ask a Librarian to find out more.

* HSLS classes are open to University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff, and students, as well as UPMC residents and fellows. A valid email address is required to register.

~Marissa Spade