Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Freely accessible public health information: from wishful thinking to systemic solutions

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statusnot funded
Freely accessible public health information: from wishful thinking to systemic solutions
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)20,000 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Claudia Serbanuta and Mihai Constantinescu



Claudia Serbanuta and Mihai Constantinescu

Affiliation or grant type

Făgăras Research Institute


Claudia Serbanuta and Mihai Constantinescu

Wikimedia username(s)

Claudia Serbanuta: User:klaul

Mihai Constantinescu: User:Mihaiconstantinescu

Project title

Freely accessible public health information: from wishful thinking to systemic solutions

Research proposal[edit]


Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a global conversation about the dissemination of correct and trustworthy information concerning public health (PH). The variety of sources of information, of channels and shortcuts through which this information circulates, and levels of comprehension of the public make communicating PH information a challenge. Wikipedia became a global player in organizing, describing, and disseminating free health information; however, this position is not uniform across languages.

This research project will research ways for Wikipedia in Romanian language (Wiki.Ro) to better contribute to PH information dissemination. Romania has one of the highest mortality rates w.r.t. preventable and treatable diseases in the EU (OECD-State of Health in the EU, Country Health Profile 2019). One of the top reasons for which screening campaigns were previously unsuccessful has to do with poor information of the public about preventable diseases.

The Research Question we propose: (RQ) How can Wiki.Ro contribute to better PH information dissemination?

What is the quality and accuracy of PH information within Wiki.Ro?

What is the reach of PH information within Wiki.Ro pages?

What PH information is available (online, free & in simple language - in accessible formats) from Romanian and Moldovan PH authorities?

The research will consist of: literature review on how Wikipedia is used for disseminating health information and analysis of quality and accuracy of PH information within Wiki.Ro. The team will document relevant free PH information available from health authorities and look for effective ways to open it in a systematic way that includes Wikimedia projects.

The objectives aimed are:

O1.Research PH reports and policies from Romania and Moldova (last 5 years) and create a list of relevant PH topics. Scan the public information on health issues promoted by the Ministries of Health and agencies for freely accessible materials; advocate for importing them into Wikimedia Commons.

O2. Analyze health articles from Wiki.Ro for reliability and quality to understand what topics need to be improved;increase the number of health-interested editors through editing campaigns.

O3. Produce a guide to support expert health organizations in free sharing health content.

O4. Update and add health information in Wiki.Ro together with such organizations; develop and provide training materials for staff and students from health agencies and Universities.


  • Stefan Cibian - Advisor- Făgăras Research Institute
  • Cristina Vladu - Advisor - International consultant on public health policy
  • Andrei Cipu - Advisor - Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group
  • Mihai Lupu - Advisor & Volunteer - Advisor to the Secretary of State, Department of Emergency Situations & EduCaB


Approximate amount requested in USD.

20,000 USD

Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

The requested budget 10 months is 20,000. Personnel related expenses (coordinator,, researchers,advocacy coordinator - 14000 USD), Administrative (Fiscal Sponsor Fee - 2000 USD), Services (including Public Health expert, article processing charges, copy editing, and communication - a total of 2800 USD) and Travel and Events (transportation costs for events, food and refreshments for events, conference presentation travel costs and other fees - a total of 1200 USD).


Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

Topics for impact from 2030 WM strategy include all efforts to understand how such topics can be developed in connection with local, regional and global actors. Public health information is a topic that has proved to have global impact.

Results include : 2 open access research articles in English, a series of at least 3 articles in Romanian about accessibility of PH information and a guide for improving information sharing policies (including free licensing of PH information).

Editors engaged will create/translate/update > 50 PH articles. At least 3 editing events will be organized &1 online campaign will engage the public to edit PH articles. The list of articles will be updated and monitored with the help of the WMROMD user group.


Plans for dissemination.

We plan to: publish three non-scientific articles in Romanian about the accessibility of PH information and two scholarly articles, organize a campaign to promote the editing of health information articles in and organize three Wikipedia-health editing events. We will write a policy on the topic of accessibility to PH information (based on our findings), presented in at least one public health event in Europe and we will submit for a grant to participate at the CEE Wikimedia

Past Contributions[edit]

Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

Serbanuta and Constantinescu are researchers in LIS invested in understanding the information ecologies of various communities and are implementing a WikimediaResearch grant that will be finished in Spring 2023. Initial analysis presented to academic&public communities signals that can play an important role in open information sharing.

In 2022,Serbanuta, Cristina Vladu & Mihai Lupu, as Educab volunteers, worked with public librarians to document what&how public health information reaches small communities in Romania. Additionally, the wikipage for Pap-test translated by Klau is the fourth as pageviews among the 77 created -signaling a constant interest of the public in health topics.

I agree to license the information I entered in this form excluding the pronouns, countries of residence, and email addresses under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I understand that the decision to fund this Research Fund application, the application itself along with all the information entered by my in this form excluding the pronouns, country of residences, and email addresses of the personnel will be published on Wikimedia Foundation Funds pages on Meta-Wiki and will be made available to the public in perpetuity. To make the results of your research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, I agree that any output of my research will comply with the WMF Open Access Policy. I also confirm that I have read the privacy statement and agree to abide by the WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.