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Cancer Research UK calls for accuracy on Wikipedia

Appeals to healthcare community to keep online information up to date

Wikipedia logoThe charity Cancer Research UK has called for the healthcare sector to keep online cancer information current and accurate.

Cancer Research UK has appealed to scientists, doctors and nurses to get more involved in free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia to help ensure it has the most up to date and correct information on cancer.

Speaking at the Wikimania 2014 conference in London on August 8, Cancer Research UK discussed Wikipedia's role as a resource for people searching online for cancer-related information, and how this fits in with their use of other online medical content.

The charity also outlined its plans – as part of the same project – to evaluate how people use the site to find information, and how to make its pages easier to understand.

“Wikipedia is probably the most frequently used online source of medical information. Keeping it up to date, accurate and relevant is a huge challenge – one that requires a lot of input, effort and time,” said Henry Scowcroft, Cancer Research UK's news and multimedia manager.

“We feel it's our responsibility to make sure that cancer information online is as good as it can be, to remove uncertainty, reduce fear and worry, and to help people take their next steps after they, their family or friends hear the phrase 'it's cancer'.”

Jon Davies, chief executive of Wikimedia UK, said: "As someone who has personal experience of cancer, I know the information on Wikipedia has to be as good as possible. The work that Cancer Research UK is doing to support the improvement of medical content is excellent. "

Earlier this year Cancer Research UK appointed an in-house 'Wikipedian in Residence' to help keep online information accurate. The role, funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Wikimedia UK, is the first of its kind created by a medical research organisation.

Article by
Tara Craig

15th August 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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