Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine

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Cancer Research UK review[edit]

As with the other reviews listed below and previously advised here, I asked a CRUK specialist to do an initial review of Brain tumor, the idea being to sort out basic points out in the article before sending the article for review by other outside specialists. I was hoping this would give the medical editing community enough to go on to start serious work on the article. The reviewer here was the same as for lung cancer (an FA), and she was struck by the much poorer quality and randomness of this in comparison. We agreed that sizeable parts of the article should just be cut, or at the least entirely rewritten. In contrast to User:Axl & lung cancer, the article doesn't seem to have a "primary carer" beyond the indefatigable monitoring of JMH & JDW. In these circumstances, I won't write up the notes here. If anyone wants to help upgrade the article, please let me know, & I can communicate as is most convenient. I think much of it will have to be redone from scratch. The other reviews are at Talk:Lung_cancer#CRUK_review, Talk:Esophageal_cancer#Initial_review_by_CRUK and Talk:Pancreatic_cancer#Initial_review_by_CRUK. Thanks again to everyone who has helped, but there is plenty more to be done. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 16:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

For the benefit of other readers: the article in question is "Brain tumor". Unfortunately we only have a modest number of dedicated editors, with a huge number of articles in our purview. Axl ¤ [Talk] 19:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, yes. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 12:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
One of the things we learned from the Google Foundation project a few years ago is that a few reviewers can easily overwhelm our volunteers. When you're working in a single specialty (e.g., cancer), then the rate at which reviews can be absorbed and processed by volunteers might be as low as one a week. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Personally I am of the opinion that reviews are not that useful. Yes much of our content sucks but the reason that it sucks is not that we the core editing community do not realize that it sucks it is that the core community is a couple of dozen volunteers taking care of more than 27,000 articles. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 04:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Well actually rather less than one a week I think. At the moment I am doing more on Pancreatic, so there will probably be at least a week before anything changes on Brain, if anyone does want to take it on. But Brain was the last of the reviews planned for now, and the first arrived nearly a month ago. In response to a specific request by an editor who has been expanding it, I have added Endometrial cancer (a rather quicker review I think) which is being done now. Otherwise there will probably be no further articles reviewed for at least a month, possibly longer, unless somebody specifically asks for something to be looked at, which I encourage them to do. But there will be further reviews of these 4 articles by outside specialists - no timetable yet. I will also be improving all these articles myself, but I am letting the community have first crack at them. They will then appear at Peer Review and as GA or FA nominations (not Lung, which is FA already). I am very aware of the ratio of active editors and work-to-be-done. Another aspect of my CRUK work is to try to increase the number of active editors (I am off to Imperial College this afternoon) but I expect most of us know the difficulties in that at the moment (pending WMF actually publicizing/advertising the need for more editors rather than denying it, and also the arrival of good, working, online training). Wiki CRUK John (talk) 12:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I feel a thoughtful and graduated reviewing approach like this can be genuinely useful if it helps focus collaboration among us volunteers without stressing anyone out (per WAID's observation). Given the scale of the challenge we face with only limited numbers of volunteers here I think finding good ways to develop interactions with Cancer Research UK and other organizations with broadly similar aims in such a way as to allow judiciously targeted input could be beneficial for Wikipedia's medical content in the long term. Continuing and developing the sort of thoughtful collaborations that John's been fostering should be a priority imo. (talk) 08:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes I guess when I say "personally" I mean that they are not useful for me. I of course understand that they may be useful for others and thus am happy to see them continue in a gradual fashion. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 09:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I sympathise with Doc James' position. Reviews are only useful if there is someone who will actively respond. (This was one of the problems with Article Feedback.) Peer review, GAN and FAC are successful because the reviews are solicited by editors who are improving the articles. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
True. And the active implementation of changes recommended at GAN/FAC can take days and sometimes weeks. Axl is completely right that a review is only ever really useful if an editor is prepared to go through the recommendations and make the prerequisite edits.
I'm doing yet another outreach activity tonight, but my cynical view is that the most effective Wikipedians don't get taught but develop themselves. JFW | T@lk 14:33, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Favor contributions over reviews In 2012 someone at the American College of Physicians asked me to help them design a program in which they could encourage professors and students at all medical schools in the US to write reviews of Wikipedia articles. It seemed like a good idea to me, and I proposed it at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Medicine/Archive_27#Project_proposal_-_Health_Article_Review_Project. After talking with others and making every proposal variant I could imagine, I became convinced that getting reviews would not be very useful because even in our best articles, like lung cancer which is a featured article and which you already had reviewed by Cancer Research UK, it is easy for anyone of almost any skill level to propose many ways that an article can be improved. Asking for reviews is fine, and people giving reviews is nice, but if someone gives a review, I feel that they should know that we Wikipedians have found no way to make use of them and that we would much rather request that people add a single sentence and citation anywhere they saw fit to add one. I have never seen a good outcome result from anyone who flies into Wikipedia, makes requests or proposals, then leaves without engaging and having a conversation or exchange with the community. Even with a conversation, there is little progress unless the reviewer actually participates in Wikipedia. Most review schemes imagine that utility can come from this, but I have never seen one work. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, for me "personally" this series of mini-reviews has provided a stimulus to get involved in making a some collaborative contributions, alongside others here, that I doubt I would otherwise have done (and I'm not altogether sure that in all cases others would have either). And I see John has already been implementing some of the reviewers' writing suggestions himself. At least this process would seem to me to supplement the "Collaboration of the month". Ok, so I may have encountered at least one minor, unintended discouragement along the way. Knowing that an "Epidemiology" section was going to be done by an expert dissuaded me from continuing in an area where, with hindsight, I could probably usefully have just gone on regardless. But hey, that's probably just me. (talk) 21:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Where is Anthony Cole when you need him? Probably at Wikipediocracy. My main comments are interposed above, in case people missed them. I agree reviews are generally less desirable than edits, and especially where students are concerned, but where real experts are concerned the choice in the vast majority of cases is reviews or nothing. My experience has actually been different from Blue R's above. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 11:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I must say I was unaware of the previous Google and WP:HARP medical review efforts, which I've bween reading up on. Without too much poking around page histories I could find Talk:Cerebral arteriovenous malformation, where a Google review presumably prompted User:Garrondo to sort out the review points 18 days later. No doubt he could have done this at any point by himself, but it seems the review led to the improvement (perhaps at the cost of whatever else Garrondo would have been doing). Perhaps it is too easy to write-off such efforts as failures. In any case the CRUK reviewing (unless specially requested, as at Endometrial cancer) will be concentrated on a much smaller number of articles, and will in most or all cases be presented/mediated by me, rather than posted directly, unless the reviewer wants to take that route. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 12:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Wiki CRUK John Without bring more editors to the project, the best outcome from getting more reviews is squeezing more volunteer time out of a community which is already giving everything that it can. Any donation is acceptable, just like when rich people donate dirty laundry to charity shops the poor accept the donations and try to clean the things to make them usable to present to their clients. It is really nice when donors give useful things to those who need them, especially when it seems trivial enough like using the washing machine before donating clothes, but for some reason in charity relationships donors tend to expect a lot of response and business capacity from people who already do not have many resources. Beggars cannot choose what kinds of donations they get, but sometimes if the laundry is dirty and the volunteers have no capacity to clean it then they smile when they take the donation then put it in the trash. There are a lot of nonprofit organizations that have a policy of accepting any donation, just because it hurts donors' feelings if what they offer is rejected and because if donors give low-value things continually over time then maybe someday they will come around and donate what is really needed. Do what you will, but please also consider finding at least one person in your organization who is willing to listen to what this community actually requests. If they understand the situation and still give reviews, then in the long term if they come to see what we do with the reviews they will not resent us for accepting them without appreciating them as they intended.
Or I could be wrong about this. I certainly hope for the best, and if you find a way to make this work, then please talk with me because I could bring in more reviews also. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, if I didn't know you to be a kind sort of person that you are I think I would have found some of your last comment rather galling. As it is, I feel you're coming close to devaluing the gf work of several volunteers here (mine for one). (talk) 14:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC) previously
I do not know who you are, IP, so I cannot comment on your work. "GF work"? What is this? I am not sure how to respond. I could restate what I said by saying that the least useful contribution that it is difficult to make use of someone's order that volunteers ought to do more work that everyone agrees ought to be done. Reviews become more useful as they become more conversational, and review submissions from people who do not want to actually talk with us are difficult to use. Outsiders who submit work orders for article development are fairly easy to find. I am not sure who you are, but if you found this conversation, you engage more deeply than by reading an article, telling people to improve it, then leaving forever. Personal relationships matter even in semi-anonymous exchanges. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
What do you need to know to respect my gf work (as distinct, for example, from tireless POV pushing)? :/ If you just glanced at the history of the previous ip address I posted you'd see I've been working on some of the pages under review. Fwiw, I'm someone who's spent his working life responding to reviewers: so it's probably not so strange thatI see differently from you on such matters (and perhaps also that I found your charity shop analogies annoying). Personally, I'd much rather respond to the sort of mini-reviews we've been receiving from outside than to the stuff here that led to LT leaving. (talk) 17:11, 24 July 2014 (UTC) (previously
I struck out my above text because I have been told that it is not interpreted in the way that I wish it would be. My point was that lots of people have suggestions for what we ought to do here. In any given month, about 30-40 people participate on this board and in the last year, we had about 120 regular contributors to health content. Whenever anyone gives a review and help managing our labor pool without actually joining the community they do so on the premise that there are more people here than just a small group. We are not equipped to process complicated donations or take work orders. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, and there are also people in the community (if not today) who do request reviews. We are daily turning editors away, both existing editors perhaps without much medical background, and newcomers, often with a medical background, and apart from existing editors, well-executed reviews may well give some of these ways to get used to the project's norms. I have linked to explanations of the varying aspects of my CRUK role before, but here it is again, including editing training, which was done here before with reasonable success. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 15:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Everything you are doing, including collecting reviews, is wholly positive and beneficial. I have always thought so and never doubted it. If I were talking about anything, it was only in the efficiency in use of a good thing. You are doing everything wonderfully and no one should ask more of you because you already are working miracles. I need no further explanation of your work because I am convinced that it is good and I hope you achieve everything you imagine. Keep me posted if you find a case in which someone wants to do reviews, then they start editing articles. So far as I know that is a case study no one has yet described. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:30, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
User:BSW-RMH of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Google Project was brought in as a reviewer and, with our encouragement, started editing some of the articles s/he reviewed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. This is the biggest success story I have seen from these sorts of projects. The person stayed with us three months and made about 600 edits before leaving four years ago. By any standard this was a desirable outcome and almost no other outreach effort in any part of Wikipedia results in collaborations like this. I wish there could be more but this is a lot and I will remember it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
In another area entirely User:AgTigress is a (retired) expert who came in contact with WP in an editathon, providing expertise rather than editing. Subsequently she began to join in the talk page discussion, and then look at other articles. She has never been actually trained to edit, but picked it up very well, though somewhat held back by perfectionism, which experts are prone to. When adding content she sometimes does so in huge chunks, so her basic stats rather underestimate her contributions. As her talk page comments show, she has engaged with the community but not found this altogether a delight. She returns now and then, and I hope will resume significant additions in the future. Wiki CRUK John/Johnbod (talk) 13:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

A bizarre "proposal" at Talk:Ketamine[edit]

Please see Talk:Ketamine#Sponsoring a truly evidence-based page on ketamine and respond accordingly. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)


I just found and labeled a deadlink. Should perhaps be corrected in some other way than just labeling. Diff --Hordaland (talk) 16:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Not sure how to handle the specific link you pointed to, there is probably a working tool that can be substituted, perhaps someone in the project knows of it and can fix the link (articles by importance, Top: combined with articles by class, C)see below
For references, see WP:DEADREF and WP:LINKROT. I almost always check The Wayback Machine at the internet archive ( when I encounter a deadlink and see if a quick repair can be done. The preferred format is to add the "archiveurl" and "archivedate" parameters to the reference template. - - MrBill3 (talk) 18:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Here it is,
I don't know if changing the link to this is appropriate for a page about 2013 but this link will give you Medical articles of Top-Class with a C-Class rating. - - MrBill3 (talk) 18:13, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done - - MrBill3 (talk) 18:29, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

About free radicals in the brain[edit]

An IP edit w/o editsummary changes the meaning of a sentence, and I don't know whether to leave it or revert it. Someone please take a look. Thanks, Hordaland (talk) 17:04, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Looks to me like a gf edit in keeping with the topic of the section (the previous version wouldn't seem to make much sense anyway). (talk) 18:49, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The edit is a correction of the previously inaccurate statement. Sleep deprivation is not a result of the build up of free radicals in the brain. Sleep deprivation is a result of inadequate sleep. Axl ¤ [Talk] 21:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both. --Hordaland (talk) 21:40, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

References in body or in reflist[edit]

References can be placed inline in an article or placed in the reflist as named references, like so:


<ref name= "Doe2014">{{cite journal |author= Doe |year= 2014 |title= Example ref |journal= No Such Journal}}</ref>

<ref name= "Doe2014b">{{cite journal |author= Doe |year= 2014 |title= Second example ref |journal= Not A Journal}}</ref>


I prefer the reflist method. Both inline and list references can be used simultaneously in the same article. A complication of the reflist method is if a reference is removed from the article, it must be remarked out on the reflist.

Seeking comment or guidance. Thanks. - - MrBill3 (talk) 20:39, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Just to add more aspects to the discussion, here is what I wrote on QG's talk page. I would add that there are no more problems with removing a reference in either system, IF the references has been used more than once. A search of the page will find them.
There are MoS statements which say that either style is allowed, but the one who created the article usually has some right to decide which style they will use. If they were to object, their wishes should probably be respected, but with old articles there may not be any special preference anymore. Just be careful.
I have always used the most common method, which is having the references spread around within the text, but it is messy and makes editing harder. So, when I created the Charlotte's Web (cannabis) article, I decided to try the "list-defined references" style. If you click on the References link there, you'll see this note:
  • This article uses "list-defined references", per WP:LDR.
  • To ease editing and avoid confusion and duplication of sources, the references below are in alphabetical order by ref name.
  • While other citation templates are not forbidden, this basic template has been used for most references:
  • <ref name= >{{Citation |last= |first= |date= |title= |publisher= |url= |accessdate= }}</ref>
That means the article only has the short "name" references in the text, which makes for a cleaner editing experience. When anyone adds references, I move the ref to the bottom and use that citation template, unless another citation template has been used and is working fine. I have also tried to follow the advice from my essay: Wikipedia:How to create and manage a good lead section. -- Brangifer (talk) 21:33, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I much prefer the refs inline than at the end. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 22:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
See WP:CITEVAR for "the rules" about changing citation formatting. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:31, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I justify my work on references with the imposing uniformity mentioned in CITEVAR and the Common Sense exception and boldly edit. I think changing from inline to reflist (or vice versa) is too great a change for that justification so I won't make that change. I do extensive work on references, often boldly, I encourage anyone finding my editing problematic on a particular article to notify me on my talk page. My intention is to provide uniform, useful and accurate references not to impose my preferences or hinder the work of others. Often my formatting of references is a first step in verification. - - MrBill3 (talk) 02:02, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Frankly I don't understand the opening comment here - there are several ways of doing references. What I dislike about typical WP medical referencing is that encourages people to reference a whole article, chapter or even book (Doc James' WCH2014 edits, very useful though they are, would be better if page numbers were used rather than chapter sections of several pages) or if the exact references are used the text disappears in the editing view in a sea of citation template text. Referencing whole works (in practice probably meaning their abstracts) is sometimes appropriate, but more often not. I'm very dubious about imposing styles against WP:CITEVAR. It isn't something I'd do boldly except in articles that are clearly neglected; you should ask on the talk page first, as CITEVAR says. I recently experimented with the WP:SFN style at Resection margin as I expanded it; this has the advantage that several different pages from the same work can be referenced very neatly (where the pages are available of course, which they may not be in online publications). Wiki CRUK John/Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
The opening comment is based on an article where another editor moved references out of the reflist into the body and I reverted that change. I thought having some discussion here might be useful as I do lots of ref formatting and value input here. I will endeavor to bring the subject up on the talk page of articles first.
I agree that more precise citations would be useful. Might I suggest using the rp template. I also agree that all too often it is the abstract being cited not the article (which is not really appropriate). Best of luck getting a significant number of editors to actually read an entire article and cite the page the fact comes from. When I do verification I will make a stab at adding the rp template to individual facts. I also like the sfn template but see that more for referencing larger works but I can see how it would be useful for journal articles also. - - MrBill3 (talk) 02:36, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Reverting to the status quo is fine. Personally in a case where someone wants to expand an article significantly, and prefers a different style from the current one, I'd be receptive to that if the proposed style works ok, as most of them do. Johnbod (talk) 12:05, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
With respect to the World Cancer Report, each chapter is only a few pages long. E-books often no longer give page numbers thus I often just reference the chapter. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 21:50, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

I very much prefer refs in a reflist at the end but would capitulate and put them inline if absolutely required for technical reasons, such as preparing the article for export to a language that does not support {{reflist}}.


Saffron#Use is accumulating medical "facts". If anyone has time, it could do with a review. Peter coxhead (talk) 05:37, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Took an axe to some primary sources, wasn't so sure about some of the books either, especially the one from 1995. Seems odd nothing newer has come along in 19 years, making me feel it isn't notable. Thanks for posting here. -- CFCF 🍌 (email) 08:29, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Primary research continues to be published. At a rapid glance of some reviews I can see some recent potential MEDRS that might be worth considering (eg [1] [2]) for more nuanced statements. (talk) 09:51, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


Nagalase previously linked to the Alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase article, which contained substantial amounts of uncited material, and what appeared to be a three-paragraph copyvio from an abstract. Given the recent controversy regarding nagalase research (for example, this article retraction, and the large amount of non-WP:RS interest out there on the subject and also GcMAF (see, for example, material on forums such as this), we should be very careful about ensuring all statements on this subject are both adequately cited, and that a retraction search has been performed on the cited papers. I'd greatly appreciate it if medically knowledgable editors could improve the article to WP:MEDRS standards, and/or add both articles and the currently deleted redirect to their watchlists. -- The Anome (talk) 16:32, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


Purported cure for cancer. See above. -- The Anome (talk) 17:17, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

It looks like User:ChemNerd and the logged-out editor 31.48 have recently had a go at presenting the facts more directly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/The Oxford Hip Score[edit]

Well, there's Oxford knee score, so is this a notable topic, or should this old AfC submission be left to disappear? And where is Oxford toe score? —Anne Delong (talk) 03:46, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

This is one of several tools that can be used to assess hip function and symptoms in humans [3]. You might doggedly expect to find information on this topic on the Hip score page... Not arf! ;-) (talk) 08:50, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Woof, woof. This seems an ok topic, with decent refs in place, but not conventionally formatted. Should not take a template wiz long to sort out. And the dogs should be disarmed (ha- disamed I meant) I think. This is also an example of unhelpful/somewhat inaccurate rejections by AFC reviewers. Needless to say the account has not edited since. Wiki CRUK John (talk) 10:38, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Imo, it would be much more helpful to readers to have a parent page on Hip score (Medicine). But as someone would have to get up on their hind legs to create that, I guess I'm barking up the wrong topic tree there... (talk) 10:50, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, now that has edited it, it will not be deleted for six months, so there is time to sort this out and either fix the page or move the content to another appropriate spot. —Anne Delong (talk) 02:55, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Article request[edit]

Hi, I'm currently working on Female genital mutilation to prepare it for peer review, and wondered if someone could send me copies of any or all of the following (in order of preference):

  1. Shah G1, Susan L, Furcroy J. "Female circumcision: history, medical and psychological complications, and initiatives to eradicate this practice", Canadian Journal of Urology, 2009 Apr;16(2):4576-9.
  2. Dave AJ, Sethi A, Morrone A. "Female genital mutilation: what every American dermatologist needs to know", Dermatology Clinics, 2011 Jan;29(1):103-9. doi:10.1016/j.det.2010.09.002
  3. Momoh C. "A day in the life of ... a female genital mutilation/public health specialist", Midwives, 2010 Aug:50.
  4. Elchalal U, et al. "Ritualistic female genital mutilation: current status and future outlook", Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 1997 Oct;52(10):643-51.
  5. Momoh C. Female genital mutilation, Current Opinions in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2004 Dec;16(6):477-80.

Many thanks in advance, SlimVirgin (talk) 19:31, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Hack-a-thon before Wikimania[edit]

Is anyone going to be in London for the Hack-a-thon (6–7 August, before Wikimania proper)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:23, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

No, sadly not. Are you coming to London, WAID? JFW | T@lk 20:38, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I could be. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 21:44, 28 July 2014 (UTC)


Could use input from the wider community. Discussion is occurring regarding how to summarize a meta-analysis here [4] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 02:57, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/MetATT[edit]

Hmmm... I think this is a medical article.... should it be kept or deleted as a stale draft? —Anne Delong (talk) 03:19, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

This is more of a statistics software package for analyzing metabolomics (a field of study in molecular biology) experiments and data. I only see 9 hits in GScholar for "metatt" metabolomics with only a primary paper and a few mentions in other papers. It doesn't seem enough for notability. --Mark viking (talk) 03:42, 29 July 2014 (UTC)