WikiProject Anatomy Newsletter #4
Hello WikiProject Anatomy participant! This is the fourth update, documenting what's going on in WikiProject Anatomy, news, current projects and other items of interest. We've had a quiet time over the last half-year or so, so I've slowed down the release of this newsletter and will probably release the next one around the end of the year. If you'd like to provide some feedback, if you think I've missed something, or don't wish to receive this again, please leave a note on my talkpage or remove your name from the mailing list
- What's new
- A related WikiProject is formed, WikiProject Women's health
- Cerebellum, promoted in 2006, receives a long overdue featured article review
- Heart and Glomerulus receive a peer review
- Our article base explodes from about 10,000 to 12,775, with most new articles being redirects.
- Sympathetic nervous system, Autonomic nervous system and Parasympathetic nervous system all receive significant makeover, and cry out for more attention!
- Should Vermiform appendix be retitled to its more common name (Appendix)? The discussion continues!
- A large number of "back end" changes are made, and integration with Wikidata continues -- see the focus for more.
- Our set of cranial nerve-related articles receive a review by a subject expert
- How can I contribute?
- If you're interested in a topic area, let other editors know by creating a 'drive' in that area
- Continue to reword articles in language lay readers can understand
- Search Wikimedia commons for high-quality coloured images that can be used to replace some of our older, lower quality images.
- Don't forget that anatomy isn't always about gross anatomy! A number of other fields, including articles about embryology and histology ("microanatomy") cry out for attention.
- Issue focus - technical changes
This issue was originally going to focus on how far we've come as a project. However, that encouraging news can wait until next issue, as there are simply too many changes going on at the "back end" of our project not to write about. What do I mean by "back end"? I mean changes that are not necessarily visible to readers, but may have a significant impact on the way we edit or on future edits.
A number of visible changes have been made to our templates. Firstly, the way our templates have been linked together has changed. Previously, this was a small bar with single-letter links. This has been replaced by a light-coloured box contained within all our templates with fully-worded links, which provides links to relevant anatomy and medical templates. This should make life a lot easier, particularly for students and other readers who are struggling with the vastness of anatomical systems and their related diseases and treatments.
As part of this, almost all our templates have been reviewed and cleaned up. The previously confusing colour scheme has been removed and colour standardised. The titles have been simplified. References to "identifiers" in the titles of navigation boxes (such as Gray's Anatomy and Terminologia Anatomica numbers) have been removed. Where possible, the wiki-code of templates has been updated to give a cleaner, more standardised, format that is hopefully more friendly to new editors. The cleanup continues , please feel free to contribute or propose templates which need attention.
Most of our articles have an infobox. Previously, there were 11 separate infoboxes for different fields, such as muscles, nerves and embryology. These have been united so that at the "back end", every template will take formatting directly from the main anatomy infobox -- however at the "front end", there is little difference for readers. This will make future changes much easier -- including adding new fields, formatting, and reordering the contents. Several changes have already been made: infoboxes now link to a relevant anatomical terminology article; contents are now divided into 'Identifiers' and 'Details' headings, making it easier to grasp content for new readers; and new fields have been added, including Greek and UBERON, with several more under discussion.
An editor has reviewed all our template-based external links. These are the links that often fill the "External links" category, and sometimes used as citations. At least thirty different links sets, with the number of links stretching into the thousands, have been fixed, and if not functioning, deleted. A number of non-functioning dead links (with no archived websites available), and one or two others, have been deleted. This helps keep our 'external links' section relevant and functioning for those readers who want extra information about articles.
Perhaps our most important change has been integration with Wikidata. This is because of both its current uses and potential future uses. Wikidata is a service related to Wikipedia focusing on storing information. Data relating to a Wikipedia item (such as a muscle or bone, or even a template) can have related "structured" infomation stored systematically alongside it. For example, a muscle can have information about its embryological origin, nerve supply, and the relevant sections of Terminologica Anatomica (TA) stored alongside it. Much information that was stored within articles on infoboxes is now stored on Wikidata, including the TA, TH, and TE fields. An immediate benefit is that Wikipedias in every language will (as they update their own infoboxes, be able to automatically include this information. New data can be entered in a much easier format, and data can be batch entered by bots making future updates much easier Future uses include data visualisation. I personally am looking forward to the day when a reader can view a wikidata-based "tree", clicking mesoderm and seeing all of the derived structures, then selecting the intermediate mesoderm, then Pronephric duct, mesonephric duct and vas deferens. The possibilities of using Wikidata for data visualisation are really quite encouraging!
Our next issue will focus on how far WikiProject Anatomy has come in the past 2 years.