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I read the New England Journal of Medicine and a few other journals every week. When I come across something I don't understand, I search Google to look it up. Usually, the first or second hit is Wikipedia. So that's how I came to Wikipedia. If I can contribute, I'm glad to help. And of course it's a great way for me to understand what I'm reading myself.

I appreciate that much of the biomedical writing on Wikipedia is done by some pretty well-informed graduate students, PhDs, medical students and MDs who can give me a lot of the fundamental biology and clinical medicine that I'm looking for.

I think my most useful contribution is to take an entry that's written for specialists and rewrite it for the general reader. Don't forget, Wikipedia is written for the general reader, not the specialist or doctor. If people are leaving messages in the Talk page that an article is so complicated that they can't understand it, that's a sign that it should be made more accessible. If people can't understand what you've written, what's the point of writing it?

I believe that an article can be written so that the general reader can understand it, without losing any important technical details. Science magazine does it every week. I like to keep the technical language -- because people need to learn the jargon in order to do further research -- but if you use a technical term that the average reader wouldn't know, you have to define it.

WP:NOTJOURNAL "Scientific journals and research papers. A Wikipedia article should not be presented on the assumption that the reader is well versed in the topic's field. Introductory language in the lead and initial sections of the article should be written in plain terms and concepts that can be understood by any literate reader of Wikipedia without any knowledge in the given field before advancing to more detailed explanations of the topic. While wikilinks should be provided for advanced terms and concepts in that field, articles should be written on the assumption that the reader will not or cannot follow these links, instead attempting to infer their meaning from the text."

Know your audience "Wikipedia is not primarily aimed at experts; therefore, the level of technical detail in its articles must be balanced against the ability of non-experts to understand those details. When contributing scientific content, imagine you have been tasked with writing a comprehensive scientific review for a high school audience. It can be surprisingly challenging explaining complex ideas in an accessible, jargon-free manner. But it is worth the perseverance. You will reap the benefits when it comes to writing your next manuscript or teaching an undergraduate class."

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Useful links and notes[edit]

Most frequent[edit]

(See User Contributions)

  • WP:RS
  • WP:NEWSBLOG "Several newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations host columns on their web sites that they call blogs. These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but use them with caution because the blog may not be subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process."
  • WP:WORDS "All else being equal, try to use as common, unshortened, simple and concrete words as possible. Using needlessly uncommon, advanced, shortened and abstract words will only make Wikipedia less readable."
  • WP:POVFORK "This second article is known as a "POV fork" of the first, and is inconsistent with Wikipedia policies. The generally accepted policy is that all facts and major points of view on a certain subject should be treated in one article."
  • {{fact|date=February 2013}}[citation needed]
  • WP:ELYES What can normally be linked. "Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons."
  • WP:ELMAYBE Links to be considered. "Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources."
  • WP:PRIMARY "Policy: Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them.[4] Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge."
  • Template:Original research
  • [original research?] {{OR|date=June 2014}}
  • WP:Teahouse. Ask questions, get answers.


Useful sources[edit]

  • PubMed Health
  • Template:MerckManual
  • First reference [1]<ref name="Merck">[ Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy]</ref>
  • Second reference [1]<ref name="Merck"/>
  • First reference Campbell[2] <ref name="Campbell"> {{cite book|author=Reece, Jane; Campbell, Neil|title=Biology|publisher=Benjamin Cummings|location=San Francisco|year=2002|pages= |isbn=0-8053-6624-5}}</ref>
  • Second reference Campbell [2]<ref name="Campbell"/>
  • First reference Harrison's <ref name="Harrison's"> {{cite book|author=Kasper, Dennis L; Braunwald, Eugene; Fauci, Anthony; et al.|title=Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th ed.|publisher=McGraw-Hill|location=New York|year=2005|pages= |isbn=0-07-139140-7}}</ref>
  • Second reference Harrison's<ref name="Harrison's"/>
  • Genetics Home Reference U.S. National Library of Medicine
  • Wikipedia:Referencing for beginners with citation templates
  • Reference generator
  • Diberri template filling tool instructions [DEAD LINK?]
  • User:Dispenser/Reflinks
  • Top Wikipedia Editors To Get Free Access to JSTOR. Be Jealous. By Fruzsina Eördögh. Posted Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at 6:07 PM ET For now, only the top 100 contributors, who have collectively written a reported 100,000 articles, will get access to JSTOR for free. The program is only is in its “pilot” phase. JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program Posted by Steven Walling on November 19th, 2012. JSTOR provides free access to Early Journal Content and recently introduced Register & Read, an experimental program to offer free, read-online access to individual scholars and researchers who register for a MyJSTOR account. More information may be found at

Dispute resolution[edit]

WP:NPOV boilerplate[edit]

Wikipedia has clear rules on what belongs in an article and what doesn't. The main rules are WP:RS, WP:NPOV and WP:WEIGHT. Those rules say that viewpoints must be included in the article in proportion to their coverage in WP:RSs. If WP:RSs repeatedly quote Huckabee, Fischer, etc. (or anybody) in stories on the incident, then this article must include those viewpoints.

This isn't up to the discretion or consensus of WP editors; WP:NPOV is one of the WP:FIVEPILLARS of Wikipedia. "NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it." (Emphasis added.)

Putting reactions into a separate, later article also violate WP policy. WP:POVFORK "This second article is known as a "POV fork" of the first, and is inconsistent with Wikipedia policies. The generally accepted policy is that all facts and major points of view on a certain subject should be treated in one article."


Articles in progress[edit]

Wikipedia:Starting an article WP:CREATEUSER#SUB

Citation templates[edit]

WP:Citation templates

Journal Template[edit]

<ref name="
">{{cite journal
| title =
| journal =
| date =
| author =
| authors =
| volume =
| issue =
| pages =
| url =
| doi =
| pmid =
| pmc =

Second reference:

<ref name="

{{cite news}}

Newspaper Template[edit]

<ref name="
">{{cite news
| author =
| title =
| quote =
| newspaper =
| date =
| pages =
| url =

Press Release Template[edit]

{{cite press release <nowiki>| title =
| publisher =
| date =
| url =
| accessdate = }}

Web Template[edit]

Empty citation (help) 

Useful sources[edit]

Newspapers as WP:RS[edit]

Sometimes, newspapers can get access to clinical data about life-threatening dangers that are not available in the scientific literature.

Harris G. Diabetes drug maker hid test data, files indicate. New York Times 13 Jul 2010.

Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.

But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up, according to documents recently obtained by The New York Times.

Cited by: Rosiglitazone: a case of regulatory hubris BMJ 2013; 347 doi: 11 December 2013 Steven E Nissen


  1. ^ a b Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
  2. ^ a b Reece, Jane; Campbell, Neil (2002). Biology. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings. ISBN 0-8053-6624-5.