According to this report, information on pharmaceutical drugs on wikipedia is incomplete and much more likely to contain errors of omission compared with the Medscape Drug Reference (MDR). Using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifampicin as an example of a Google search result, the authors have compared Wikipedia entries with those of MDR, a “freely accessible general drug information database that had been previously evaluated and found to be broad in both scope and depth of drug information that was gathered from authoritative references”. Paradoxically, information on Rifampicin at MDR appear to be unaccessible. Only after having found out that Rifampicin’s trade name is IsonaRif I am able to retrieve some of the the data. Wikipedia may be inferior to MDR with regard to to completeless and acuracy but fares much better when it comes to availability, transparency of the editing process, the use of citations, openess and the extent of linking to other relevant information resources. The collaborative editing of wikipedia entries is an example of distributed human computation. Medicine should start exploring it’s potential rather than warning of its possible side effects.
January 26, 2009
January 14, 2009
Hmm. The information about Systemic lupus erythematosus on Rxwiki (last updated on 14 August 2007) has strong resemblance to the wikipedia entry on the same topic from 12 August 2007. Is this practice in accordance with the rules for copying wikipedia content? (Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Wikipedia article used (a direct link back to the article is generally thought to satisfy the attribution requirement))
April 17, 2006
John Udell: “Medicine is, among other things, a kind of information monopoly“. Here we need to distinguish between monopolized access to medical knowledge and medical societies’ ownership of the methods used to generate medical knowledge. Patients have always been willing to share their experiences with, and to learn from other patients. A Personal medical record system with a mechanism that allow peers to share their experiences could become a killer application.