Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Wikipedia article statistics: a powerful metrics in medical curriculum development

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
statusnot funded
Wikipedia article statistics: a powerful metrics in medical curriculum development
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)16742 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Athikhun Suwannakhan and Laphatrada Yurasakpong



Athikhun Suwannakhan and Laphatrada Yurasakpong

Affiliation or grant type

Mahidol University; Chulabhorn Royal Academy


Athikhun Suwannakhan and Laphatrada Yurasakpong

Wikimedia username(s)

Athikhun Suwannakhan: Athikhun.suw

Project title

Wikipedia article statistics: a powerful metrics in medical curriculum development

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.

Wikipedia is ranked 7th most visited website in the world. Despite its popularity, Wikipedia has constantly been criticized for its reliability, completeness and accuracy and whether students should use it in the classroom (Head, 2020). Even with these criticisms, Wikipedia was found to be the most widely used resource online (Thomas et al., 2013). Around 40% of college students were found to use Wikipedia (Head and Eisenberg, 2013). In medicine, Wikipedia is used by 90% of medical students (Allahwala et al., 2013) and 50%-70% of physicians (Hughes et al., 2009). Therefore, despite heavy criticisms, the relevance and impact of Wikipedia in education and healthcare are undeniable.

Although many educators are concerned about students’ reliance on Wikipedia, it is concluded that discouraging them from using it is futile and efforts should be made toward critical use of the resource (Vilensky and Steenberg, 2015; Suwannakhan and Limpanuparb, 2017). As a result, many studies including one of ours (Suwannakhan et al. 2020) were conducted to evaluate the quality of Wikipedia articles across fields of study. Nevertheless, apart from content evaluation, we believe that further studies should explore how the content on Wikipedia is used.

In any medical curriculum, the scope of the content is set by the World Federal for Medical Education (WMFE). For subject-specific guidelines such as musculoskeletal anatomy (Webb et al. 2019), they are published as “core-syllabi”, which are internationally recognized recommendations deliberated by experts. These guidelines contain a list of fundamental topics ranked by importance and clinical significance. However, one fundamental limitation of these guidelines is they rely on a few experts and do not reflect the actual usage of information. Given the role of Wikipedia in medical education as discussed above, we believe that article statistics on Wikipedia including page views, edit counts, length and other parameters are potential indicators of content significance.

In this study, we plan to evaluate the potential usefulness of Wikipedia article statistics by correlating them with expert ratings in several subfields in medicine. The results obtained may be useful in curriculum development or even in policy making, which has an indirect impact on global health.




Approximate amount requested in USD.

16742 USD

Budget Description

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

The budget includes a computer, monthly stipends, article processing charges, conference attendance, software subscription and contingency.


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.

This project is in line with the “Identify Topics for Impact”, one of the ten aspects of the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction. This work analyzes how the content is being used by the general public, particularly by the education and healthcare sectors. The findings and insights obtained from this research are expected to be used in educational curriculum development and translated into healthcare policies, which directly have an impact on global health care.


Plans for dissemination.

We plan to publish our results as research articles in respected journals in relevant fields of study. Reports will also be published on Meta for people within the movement and the general public to access. The results of this work will also be communicated at various international events both at Wikimedia related conferences and beyond.

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.

I have been an active Wikimedian since 2015 with more than 11,000 edits, and is now a core team member of Wikimedia Thailand. I have been working as a lecturer at Mahidol University, Bangkok. I have recently been appointed as an editor of WikiJournal of Medicine. In 2017, we published an article in Catalyst on the success of our education program in Thailand. In 2020, we published another article that evaluated quality of English Wikipedia anatomy articles in Anatomical Sciences Education, a top 10% journal in education. I have authored more than 20 research articles and have peer reviewed more than 60 manuscripts for 14 journals.

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.