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Cancer Research UK to recruit its own 'Wikipedian'

New in-house role will be funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Wikimedia UK
Online health information

Concerned by the accuracy and timeliness of information on Wikipedia, Cancer Research UK is to recruit someone dedicated to working on the online encyclopedia.

The charity said its new 'Wikipedian in Residence', which will be funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Wikimedia UK, will be the first of its kind to be created by a medical research organisation.

Liz Woolf, head of CancerHelp UK at Cancer Research UK, said: “As leading providers of cancer information through our own CancerHelp pages, we're now thrilled to announce that our Wikipedian in Residence will be finding new ways to build on the information that's already available to the public through Wikipedia. As well as forging new partnerships to help make information on cancer a resource that is accessible to all.

“Wikipedia is often one of cancer patients' first ports of call for information about their disease and the latest research taking place. Which means it's more important than ever that they have access to the best and most up to date information that's out there.”

Cancer Research UK said it hopes the project could set an example for other areas of medical research – ensuring that medical experts are working closely with Wikipedia so that cutting-edge scientific research is freely available to everyone.

The charity's Wikipedian will be tasked with teaching Cancer Research UK's scientists to edit the website and researching how cancer patients use the site.

They will also support the existing community of those editing the cancer science pages on Wikipedia, which is the world's fifth most popular website with half a billion people accessing it or its sister Wikimedia sites every month.

Jon Davies, chief executive of Wikimedia UK, said: “This new role would see Wikimedia UK and Cancer Research UK joining forces to build on Wikipedia's extensive information on cancer. The possibility of recruiting cancer scientists to help edit these important articles is very exciting.”

17th January 2014

From: Research, Healthcare

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