Wikipedia:Cochrane online classes October 2016

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This is the course page for a four-week online Wikipedia lecture series for friends of Cochrane. The class ended in November 2016.

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016 (10-11am EST in New York, 3-4pm BST in the UK)
  • Tuesday, November 1, 2016 (11-12pm EST in New York, 3-4pm BST in the UK)
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2016 (10-11am EST in New York, 3-4pm BST in the UK)
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016 (10-11am EST in New York, 3-4pm BST in the UK)
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016 (10-11am EST in New York, 3-4pm BST in the UK)

Thanks for the fun class! Good luck in wiki.

Class overview[edit]

Consumer Reports logo 2016.svg

This is a 4-week live online course series. Typical classes will include 20-minutes of planned presentation followed by 40 minutes of demonstrations and discussion. This is a small group experience which we will share together. While live participation is most helpful, classes are videorecorded and posted online with password protection for class participants to watch. This can help either to catch up on a missed class or to review any point discussed. Every class comes with a homework assignment which should be completed before the next week. The assignments are planned to take less than 1 hour, but plan for 2 in case of major confusion.

This training is provided by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a United States nonprofit organization which seeks to share information with consumers so that they can make informed marketplace decisions in healthcare and other fields. Friends of Consumer Reports may include anyone who wishes to share information about consumer choices. Should anyone have any questions about this training, feel free to contact Lane (user:bluerasberry) at

Consumer Reports and Cochrane share a community of interest, as both organizations encourage the public and health care professionals to share the best quality health information.


Pre-class introduction[edit]


In this pre-meeting we will have a discussion of class goals. Participants should speak up about their expectations so that the class may be designed to meet individuals' own expectations. The usual Cochrane expectations will be described.

  1. Round of Introductions
  2. Explanation of training
  3. Way of working throughout the 3-4 months period
  4. Time for questions
4-minute video for new medical editors
  1. If you do not have one already, create a Wikipedia account
  2. While logged into your Wikipedia account, please register as a participant in this online class series
  3. Identify an academic research paper which is interesting
  4. Consider whether it meets Wikipedia's standard for quality described at Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)
  5. In your own notes off-Wikipedia, collect 1-3 facts from the research paper
  6. Now browse Wikipedia to identify an appropriate Wikipedia article where you might post your facts - have your article in mind for next time!
  7. If you wish to practice Wikipedia editing, post your notes in your "sandbox", which is your own personal draft space. Access the sandbox through the sandbox link at the top of any Wikipedia article or through Special:Mypage/sandbox.

Optional -

  • If you wish, take Wikipedia's own guided introductory tour at The Wikipedia Adventure.
  • Watch the guide video for new editors by clicking the video to the right

Week one - Tour of Wikipedia's health information[edit]

4 minute video, The Impact of Wikipedia

We will look at Wikipedia's coverage of health topics and consider the following questions:

  1. How many health articles does Wikipedia have?
  2. Who reads them?
  3. How detailed is Wikipedia's coverage of health content?
  4. Who writes this content?
  5. What is the quality control process?

We will also consider medical coverage as a model for the development of Wikipedia content on any subject.

  1. For editing practice, write write 1-3 sentences on your profile page.
    1. Identify yourself by naming any interest you have. "Hello, I like to drink coffee and am interested in (any topic)"
    2. Offer some kind of support by saying, "Feel free to ask me for comment on (any topic)"
  2. Time to edit an actual Wikipedia article!
    1. copy the facts you drafted
    2. paste them into a certain place in a Wikipedia article
    3. cite the research paper where you got the information.

Week two - Editing Wikipedia[edit]

"Editing Wikipedia articles on medicine", a classroom handout

We will talk about editing Wikipedia, including the technical process, theory, and culture of editing Wikipedia.

Here is a preview of the inside story-

  1. Wikipedia is a summary of what is already published
  2. When information is added to Wikipedia, that information should be followed with a citation to the published source from which it is derived
  3. The quality of Wikipedia depends on volunteers' ability to identify the best sources. Then they summarize the information in those sources and cite them.
  1. Besides adding content, make any change you like to the article you are editing
    1. Reword something
    2. Delete something (perhaps something not backed by an appropriate citation)
    3. Have the experience of editing content which was submitted by another person
  2. Be familiar with what you did and the context around it.
  3. Identify your classmate's Wikipedia accounts
    1. Say hello to a classmate
    2. Identify the Wikipedia article they edited
    3. Post a comment either confirming or criticizing any aspect of your classmate's edits on the discussion page of the article they edited

Week three - Quality control and the Wikimedia community[edit]

a pdf booklet, if you like

Every work role which exists in any major publishing house also exists in Wikipedia. We will visit some of the work divisions in Wikipedia, consider their labor processes, and talk about how administration and infrastructure development supports front-end content publishing.

Here are some of the wiki-occupations of Wikipedia contributors:

  1. Managers of new users
    1. Wikipedia:Welcoming committee
    2. Wikipedia:New pages patrol
    3. WP:Teahouse servers
    4. Reviews of newly created articles
  2. help
    1. Wikipedia:Help desk
    2. Tutorial writing
    3. noticeboards, such as reliable sources, neutral point of view, or notability
  3. content creation
    1. reporters
    2. writers
    3. photographer
    4. videographer
    5. media scraper
  4. outreach
    1. advertiser
    2. event coordinator
    3. presenter
    4. contest organizer
    5. email for public relations
  5. Human resources
    1. on-wiki human resource recruiter
    2. Wikipedia:Administrators
    3. Wikipedia:Bureaucrats
  6. article reviewer
  7. Dispute resolution
    1. mediator
    2. arbitrator
    3. executor / clerk
  8. vandalism patrol
    1. Wikipedia:CheckUsers
    2. Wikipedia:Oversight
  9. policy
    1. Guideline writer WP:PUMP
    2. Discussion marketing perhaps through requests for comment
  10. Development
    1. MW:Developer hub
  11. legal issues
    1. So fix it
    2. staff
  12. last resort
    1. board of trustees
    2. meta:Stewards
    3. Jimbo, Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo
  1. Continue to edit Wikipedia as in previous weeks
  2. Visit WikiProject Medicine, the forum for managing Wikipedia's Medical content
    1. Introduce yourself on the talk page
    2. Ask for comments on your submission
    3. Consider joining any of the current discussions there by commenting

Week four - Tour of Wikimedia projects broadly[edit]

2015 in review on Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and it contains reference text. Other parts of the Wikimedia network of media projects include Wikimedia Commons, the non-text media file repository, Wikisource the document archive, Wikidata the database, and other projects. We will consider how these projects complement each other.

  1. Visit Wikimedia Commons, the media repository for Wikipedia and related projects
  2. Identify an image there that you like
  3. Post a thumbnail of that image to your own personal user page on English Wikipedia

Please see Cochrane Global Ageing website for your profile information.

Supplemental information[edit]