Grants talk:IEG/The use of Wikipedia by doctors for their information needs

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Request for more information[edit]

Hello! Thanks for proposing this. I am some questions.

  1. Could the research team please share links to information describing their past research which demonstrates experience doing anything like this project?
  2. It seems that the people organizing this research have little experience participating in Wikipedia culture. Could the proposers please describe their level of familiarity with the Wikipedia platform? Given that level of familiarity, could the proposers please describe any barriers to conducting their research that they expect to have, but that would not exist if they had deeper understanding of Wikipedia.
  3. What information gained from this project would be most useful to the Wikimedia community?

Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)


Hi Richard!

I'm really curious how this research will impact Wikipedia. To the extent that you can figure out why more doctors don't edit and what we could do to change that, the more interested I'd be in seeing this funded.

There's also been a decent amount of prior survey research that has identified doctors using Wikipedia because it's free, fast, and easy to access, relatively complete and accurate (good enough for jogging memory or starting research), written in an understandable style. It'd be nice to see you review that literature and discuss how your survey will add to this understanding or deepen it.

One last thing, you should also notify WikiProject Medicine (, which is a different group than Wiki Project Med Foundation.

Cheers! Ocaasi (talk) 22:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 1 2014[edit]

IEG review.png

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 1 2014 review. Please feel free to ask questions here on the talk page and make changes to your proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 1 2014 begins on 21 April 2014, and grants will be announced in May. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:09, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Payments to doctors[edit]

I think that you can better not make payments to the doctors themselves, but a donation to a charity of their choice (and hopefully they pick Wikipedia). Students will act on a cash handout, but established doctors must surely be immune to that as a motivation? I like the idea of a lottery prize though. I would assume one reason for doctors to prefer Wikipedia is so that their patients can easily view it as well, and even click the language option if English is not their native language. Generally patients go into a mild form of brain freeze when they hear a diagnosis, so if you can give them a name of something they can check out later, it will help them cooperate with their treatment. I think this research could yield very interesting results. Jane023 (talk) 19:08, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Suitability of incentives[edit]

You only target senior doctors and you want to attract them with a lottery, seriously? is the "reimbursement" really only a reimbursement or also a token? How was the amount for advertising determined? What are the strong reasons to make an in-person focus group and why in another country?
I've recently read a demographic paper which used MySpace (!) ads to get thousands of respondents to an online survey. Ads are cheap and would attract hundreds or thousands responses, is what you plan to do really not possible to reduce to a survey (at least for this first step if you say there was no previous research)? --Nemo 07:14, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Choice of hospitals[edit]

This is an interesting proposal. Would it not be a good idea to use a larger number of hospitals that are somewhat representative of the English-speaking world? Because of the small number of hospitals it may be difficult to draw conclusions about the worldwide use of English Wikipedia. --Pine 03:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

How to get doctors to contribute medical knowledge[edit]

Once you have identified doctors that use Wikipedia, how does this project help to convert them into contributors, and would that conversion strategy be scalable to the worldwide population of doctors who read English Wikipedia? --Pine 03:44, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Protocol & budget refinement[edit]

I strongly agree with the objectives of this study but I think the protocol and budget might need refinement. I'd suggest rescoping the study and increasing the timeline. I would suggest that first the proposed study needs review from your IRB. In particular, doctors may feel that they *shouldn't* use Wikipedia (in which case they may suppress this information) and may feel that they should only participate if they *do* use Wikipedia -- both of which may bias the study (similar to some of the problems you mentioned). Why is interview + survey the best approach? Would it be feasible to research which sources doctors *do* use in an observational study? Can you characterize differences in doctors (e.g. time available, psychological factors, resources available) that make the differences?

Regarding the budget, I'd like to see evidence that reimbursing doctors is going to be beneficial to the study -- do you have any evidence of that? Have you done any estimates regarding the social media marketing budget?

Finally I'm also wondering why English is privileged. Do you have any contacts in Italy, for instance, or in Northern Africa?

Overall I think this is a good idea but that the proposal needs further work. Could you consider getting IRB approval, then do a small pilot study as a first step (maybe funded by a reduced IEG?). Then I think you'd be in a position to do this IEG request. Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 19:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Lit review[edit]

For a lit review, here's an example article:

Aggregated feedback from the committee for The use of Wikipedia by doctors for their information needs[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:
  • Interesting research and innovative proposal to compare a group of doctors in Malta to a group in the UK (which may be itself a form of outreach to both groups). It would be good for us to understand more about what doctors think about our projects and it would be good to have some facts presented on cross-cultural medical differences. The research could improve our Medical portal. We really need to explore ideas to see if we can find some sort of magic formula to attract more medical editors and form a real international medical community.
  • This proposal is geared mostly towards pure or reader-focused research that does not appear to have direct impact on actually getting more doctors to edit Wikipedia or advancing other Wikimedia strategic priorities.
  • There is already a lot of recent and increasingly thorough survey research being conducted on doctors' and medical students' use of Wikipedia. It’s unclear how this approach will introduce novel insights.
  • Despite notifications at the relevant medical editing communities, there were no endorsements from any medical editors (or from anyone else). The proposer did not respond at all to questions on the grant proposal's talk page.
  • Measures of success and budget are clearly explained. Costs for publicity and advertisement are high, however, in comparison to the potential impact.

Thank you for submitting this proposal. The committee is now deliberating based on these scoring results, and WMF is proceeding with it's due-diligence. You are welcome to continue making updates to your proposal pages during this period. Funding decisions will be announced by the end of May. — ΛΧΣ21 00:35, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Round 1 2014 Decision[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

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