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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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18 November 2015
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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.


  • WP:HELP Start here
  • WP:List of Policies
  • WP:INDISCRIMINATE Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information
  • WP:MEDMOS "Extract the pertinent information rather than just dumping low-level facts in a big list."
  • WP:MEDMOS "a long list of side effects is largely useless without some idea of which are common or serious."
  • WP:MEDRS "Ideal sources for biomedical material include general or systematic reviews in reliable, third-party, published sources, such as reputable medical journals, widely recognised standard textbooks written by experts in a field, or medical guidelines and position statements from nationally or internationally recognised expert bodies." "All Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources. Reliable primary sources may occasionally be used with care as an adjunct to the secondary literature, but there remains potential for misuse." See WP:NOR
  • WP:MEDRS "Core general medical journals include the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Core basic science and biology journals include Nature, Science and Cell."
  • WP:MEDRS WP:MEDDATE Use up-to-date evidence. "Look for reviews published in the last five years or so, with newer being better."
  • WP:MEDRS WP:MEDDATE"These instructions are appropriate for actively researched areas with many primary sources and several reviews and may need to be relaxed in areas where little progress is being made or few reviews are being published."
  • WP:RS WP:NEWSORG "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact.... The opinions of specialists and recognized experts are more likely to be reliable and to reflect a significant viewpoint.... If the statement is not authoritative, attribute the opinion to the author in the text of the article and do not represent it as fact. Reviews for books, movies, art, etc. can be opinion, summary or scholarly pieces."
  • WP:RS WP:BIASED "Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject."
  • WP:SOURCE "Other reliable sources include: university-level textbooks... books published by respected publishing houses... magazines... journals... mainstream newspapers."
  • WP:EAR Editor Assistance Requests
  • #wikipedia-en-help connect
  • WP:Make technical articles accessible
  • {{Technical}} template
  • WP:Technical terms and definitions
  • Links normally to be avoided
  • Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia
  • WP:Talk#Others.27_comments
  • Wikipedia:When to cite
  • BOLD, revert, discuss cycle
  • WP:NOCONSENSUS "In deletion discussions, no consensus normally results in the article, image, or other content being kept."
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia in academic studies
  • How do I create a user subpage?
  • User_talk:Nbauman/Introduction_to_genetics
  • Color
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History of Science
  • Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion
  • The Elements of Style[1]
  • {{Cleanup-link rot}} This article uses citations that consist of only bare URLs.
  • WP:MISSION Avoid mission statements
  • What’s in a Name? Use of Brand versus Generic Drug Names in United States Outpatient Practice Physicians refer to most medications by their brand names.
  • WP:Randy in Boise
  • Portal:Contents/Outlines
  • How to Write Like a Scientist, Science Careers
  • WP:SURNAME Don't use Mr. or Dr.
  • MOS:TM Do not use the ™ and ® symbols
  • MOS:NOTED Avoid such phrases as remember that and note that
  • User:John Broughton Wikipedia the Missing Manual
  • WP:MED500 Pages in WikiProject Medicine by views
  • WT:MED Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine
  • WP:BIASED "Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject."
  • WP:WEIGHT "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources."
  • WP:BALANCE "Neutrality assigns weight to viewpoints in proportion to their prominence. However, when reputable sources contradict one another and are relatively equal in prominence, describe both approaches and work for balance. This involves describing the opposing views clearly, drawing on secondary or tertiary sources that describe the disagreement from a disinterested viewpoint."
  • WP:Canvassing "When notifying other editors of discussions, keep the number of notifications small, keep the message text neutral, and don't preselect recipients according to their established opinions."
  • [People are stupid] XKCD cartoon.
  • WP:NPOV, "Writing for the opponent" [2] Writing for the opponent, also known as writing for the enemy, is the process of explaining another person's point of view as clearly and fairly as you can, even if you strongly disagree with it, and also giving it proper weight in the article relative to its significance.
  • WP:CRIT Essay on negative criticism, use of "Criticism" section.
  • Template:Hidden archive top This template should only be used by uninvolved editors in conjunction with the talk page guidelines and relevant advice at refactoring. It should not be used by involved parties to end a discussion over the objections of other editors.
  • WP:Unblockable Some users appear to be impossible to block no matter what behavior they exhibit.
  • WP:NOTADVICE "instructing the reader in the imperative mood about how to use or do something is not [encyclopedic]."

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.