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The Stethoscope: A Wiki Project Med Foundation Review (Issue 1)[edit]

Wiki Project Med Foundation

Wiki Project Med Foundation (WPMEDF) was formally incorporated in New York as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, thanks to the work of Peter.C.

Our mission is bold like Wikipedia's: "Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all medical knowledge." That's what we're doing.

Here's what we've been up to in the last six months!

Logo and name[edit]

Abhishek led a community process to create a logo. We picked the stethoscope as our symbol, because it's a common tool that connects doctors to patients and helps amplify important signals. This organization and this newsletter aim to do the same.

We also created a Wikimedia-inspired globe with the Rod of Asclepius logo. We are currently using both logos where appropriate. Share your thoughts on them!

We evolved through several variations on our name. First we were Wikimedia Medicine Foundation, but "medicine" is a controlled term in New York and the WMF had concerns about us using "Wikimedia" before we had achieved Thematic Organization status. Then we were Wiki Med Foundation, but folks pointed out that Wiki Med and Wikimedia were terribly close. We settled on Wiki Project Med Foundation to appease all parties. It's a good name for now!


We formed our provisional board of 9 experienced and diverse members from the movement.

It's a tremendously talented and devoted group. We will have regular elections in the coming year which will be open to all WPMEDF members in good standing.

Interested members[edit]

Over 70 people have signed on as interested members of WPMEDF! We have folks from all over the world, including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. In the next few months we will formalize a membership process. We're currently discussing what if any funding model we should use. Stay tuned for more on that!

Ongoing projects[edit]

  • UCSF Education Project. In January Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi) and James Heilman (Jmh649) joined fourth-year UCSF medical student and Wikipedian Michael Turken (Michaelturken). We put on a weeklong lecture series and editathon introducing students, staff, and clinicians to Wikipedia and Medicine. We had about 60 people attend the talks and 30 come through the editathon. The environment was incredibly receptive. We met with librarians, student deans, education curriculum leaders, and some of the very talented members of UCSF's vibrant research community. Big news, UCSF has proposed a 4th-year medical elective, for credit, in which students would choose and improve a medical topic on Wikipedia. This is the first medical school education project we have heard of, ever!
  • Organizational outreach. Collaborations are currently being developed with the World Health Organization, Cancer Research UK, and the United States National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health. Efforts include issues surrounding copyright and the support of the creation of Wikipedians in Residences at these locations. The WHO position is currently being set-up, and a meeting with the NIH is happening in May of 2013. A number of members are planning on being in attendance.
  • Presentations. A number of presentations have been given globally regarding the significance of Wikipedia in Medicine including in Canada, the UK, India, Switzerland and Nepal. James Heilman refined his already great introductory presentation: [1] and his Translation presentation [2], and Jake (Ocaasi) adapted it for his talk as well [3]. And Mike Turken put together a great slideset [4] for medical educators which he presented at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 2013 Western Conference with his UCSF professor Amin Azziz, Jake (Ocaasi) and James Heilman.
  • Cochrane Collaboration. UK-based non-profit evidence-based medicine specialists Cochrane Collaboration have agreed to donate 20 full access memberships to their entire report library. They are also going to field a Wikipedian In Residence for the Fall. More announcements about those two initiatives will be forthcoming.
  • Translation Task Force. An ongoing partnership with Translators Without Borders and Content Rules continues to work towards translating 80 core articles into 285 languages. During 2012 more than one million words of text were translated as part of this effort. A very generous grant was received by our partner TWB from the Indigo Foundation to help move forwards these efforts.
  • Open access journals. A number of medical journals have agreed in principle to publishing high quality Wikipedia articles under authors' real names following formal peer review. These journals include: Open Medicine, PLoS medicine and Open BMJ. Also see the new Journal of Medical Internet Research, which is about to publish a new online peer-reviewed journal, JMIR:Wiki Medical Reviews. WPMEDF continues to responsibly advocate for open access research and transparency in clinical trials.
  • Milan Chapters Conference. WPMEDF sent two representatives (through generous scholarships) to the conference in Milan. Daniel Mietchen and Brian Badsen did a great job of sharing our goals and our progress. Extensive notes on the event were taken here: Talk:Wiki_Project_Med#Chapters_Meeting_2013. It looks like the general sentiment was that before we achieve Thematic Organization status (which would allow us to apply for FDC funding and use the Wikimedia name, perhaps) that we need to continue to grow our base, increase global participation, and build networks among the community. Working on that! Join us :-)
  • WPMEDF and Wikimedia US Coalition. The board voted to list ourselves as members of the Wikimedia US Coalition. As that organization grows and develops we want to play a big role in partnering with US chapters, regions, universities, and institutions to improve Wikipedia's medical content. We would welcome the opportunity to work with similar groups in other regions.

Conflict of interest guideline[edit]

We drafted a conflict of interest guideline: WPMED/COI. The idea is to protect Wikipedia's integrity and WPMEDF's reputation as we conduct our projects and form partnerships with likeminded organizations. Please review it and share your thoughts.


Wikimania 2013 will be held in Hong Kong August 7-11. Presentation submissions are currently being accepted. Here are some science, open access, or health-related proposals. If you are attending or want to see the talk happen, sign on at the bottom of the proposal with your interest.


WPMEDF is full up and running with social media, trying to reach out to interested folks inside and outside of our community. Here's how you can follow along:

Also, we have business cards! If you'd like 5, 10, or 20 for your personal use, please email Jake (Ocaasi) at jorlowitz(_AT_)gmail.com. Please be conservative when representing WPMEDF. Speak as an individual and don't commit to partnerships or policy statements without discussing first with the Board. But reach out to people! That's how we'll grow.



Announcements (seen in several Wiki Project Med pages):

We want and need your participation to advance our amazing mission.

  • Sign up as an interested member: sign up
  • Propose potential partner organizations, workshops, and activities
  • Give talks using our introductory Wikipedia and Medicine presentations
  • Sign on and add to to the ongoing projects
  • Reach out to medical institutions and schools
  • Host editathons at a library, university, or medical institution
  • Apply for Wikipedian-In-Residence positions
  • Follow and join in to discussions and add comments on the Wiki Project Med Foundation talk page
  • Get active at your local medicine Wikiproject
  • Share your support for the open access and transparent clinical trials movement
  • Review the conflict of interest guideline
  • Brainstorm about what our membership model should be
  • Form connections with other global chapters and editors
  • Invite people to join Wiki Project Med Foundation
  • Contribute any new ideas you have about improving medical content

Future newsletters[edit]

We aim to run The Stethoscope at least once per quarter and no more than once per month. We only send to people who already signed on as WikiProject Med or Wiki Project Medicine Foundation interested members/participants. The list of recipients is here, please remove your name or add yourself to the no newsletter list.

Signing off

It's been a pleasure so far, and we have so much more to do. Wishing you happy Spring up North and pleasant Autumn down South.

--Jake and the rest of the Wiki Project Med Foundation Board, Ocaasi (talk) 18:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]