Wikipedia:Wiki to journal publication

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Wikipedia first model of Wikipedia-integrated dual-publishing[1]

Wikipedia to Journal publishing is a model of Wikipedia-integrated dual publishing where existing Wikipedia articles submitted to be peer reviewed and published in academic journal, and the updated version then copied back into Wikipedia.


One concern we hear from academics is that Wikipedia gives too little of the recognition needed for tenure or advancement within one's profession. In an attempt to address this, potential collaborations with established journals are being discussed. The three journals that have expressed interest are Open Medicine, the Journal of Medical Internet Research and PLoS's PLoS Medicine. Further details can be found here and here. The main advantage of these collaborations would be providing high quality academic peer review and editorial support to create a corpus of professional-grade medical articles.


Collaborations between the WikiProject Medicine community, journals, and translators
  1. Improve the article in question on Wikipedia to either GA or Featured Article status
  2. Submit it for peer review / further editing at the appropriate journal
  3. Publish the article and get it indexed into MEDLINE and Pubmed
  4. Reintegrate these changes into Wikipedia
  5. Hopefully by this point the article in question will pass the Wikipedia feature article nomination process and get a day on the main page.


The lead author will be he or she who bring the articles through the peer review process and typically will be a major contributor. The authors will then be listed by the number of edits they have made to the article in question. As an example the list of authors for the dengue fever article can be found here.

It is easy to see that authorship will be a major obstacle going forward. The ICMJE's view of what constitutes authorship is very well accepted in the medical publishing community. Considering the ICMJE guidelines for authorship, does a person who fixes a comma (for example) qualify? This is not to reduce the importance of copyediting in an encyclopedia - it's important.

The top 10-50% of contributors by number of edits are listed in the author list, with lead author as indicated above. The remaining list of all contributors could be put in the 'contributors' area, or we could have a link to an app that lists all contributors to a page by number of edits.


Even though the audience we are writing for will be a general one, Wikipedia's medical content is used by 50-70% of practicing physicians. With the benefits of the Wikimedia software we can have articles that give a general overview of the topic in question followed by more details content within subpage. For example we have this section of the obesity article that gives an overview of management Obesity#Management and we have an entire article that deals with management in greater depth Management of obesity. Those with limited ability will be able to read the article in simple English. And through this project we will work on translating articles into the other 283 languages in which Wikipedia exists.[1]

Potential obstacles[edit]


Funding will be needed to cover the XML tagging / copy-editing of articles before publication. This will require in the range of $1200CAD per article. Funding sources will need to be found. Many people publishing articles will have access to funds through their universities, however some will not. External funding sources for those without sufficient financial resources will be needed to ensure sustainability. Open Medicine, PLoS and probably JMIR have no questions asked publication fee waivers.

Wikimedia markup[edit]

Getting academics to learn a basic amount of Mediawiki markup. Article should initially be improved/written on Wikipedia so that the community can follow along and provide feedback on the process. Following this the article will be subjected to a formal copy-editing and peer review (which may occur primarily off wiki) and these changes will need to be re integrated back into Wikipedia.


The default copyright licenses used by Wikipedia and the three mentioned journals are incompatible. PLoS journals use a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY), whereas Wikipedia uses a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license (CC BY-SA). In order to publish materials from Wikipedia in PLoS Medicine, there are thus basically only two options: (1) all contributors to the wiki article agree to a relicensing of their contributions under CC BY, (2) the journal agrees to publish this article under CC BY-SA. JMIR also uses CC BY, but could be open to publishing an article under CC BY-SA. Open Medicine CC BY-SA.

Encyclopedic style[edit]

Wikipedia is of course an encyclopedia and this comes with a specific style of writing that is somewhat different from a typical research journal article. We are going to be writing reviews of secondary sources rather than reviews of primary sources. Within the medical publishing community, these articles will most closely resemble 'clinical practice' articles in which literature is summarized and practical advice given to clinicians about the diagnosis and management of a common condition. An example would be this article by the AAFP on diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation.

References requirements are guided by WP:MEDRS. We also have a manual of style in an attempt to maintain consistency across subject areas. The one for medicine can be found here WP:MEDMOS. Main articles are ideally around 40,000 to 100,000 bytes (4,000 to 10,000 word) and as such are just a summary of the literature. Further details can be placed in sub articles as seen in this example (Obesity#Management, Management of obesity)


Several academic journals have organised peer review and publication of articles from Wikipedia. Authors are given guidance on how to write a review article that conforms to both the journal's guidelines and Wikipedia's guidelines.[2][3][4]


Currently, the only journals actively implementing this model are the WikiJournals

  • WikiJournal of Medicine - covers medicine and biomedicine (scope)[5]
  • WikiJournal of Humanities - covers humanities, arts and social sciences (scope)

Existing Wikipedia articles can be submitted to WikiJournals via this page. The journals also publish J2W. Presubmission inquiries can be made to the email addresses listed here.

WikiJournal articles published via this route are collected in this list and in categories for WikiJournal of Medicine and WikiJournal of Science.


The first journal to implement this format was Open Medicine, which put the Dengue fever article through peer review and publication in 2014.

  • Open Medicine (ceased) - covered medicine and healthcare[7]

Potential future partners[edit]

Do we want to move forwards with this idea as a coalition of journals (Open Medicine, JMIR, PLoS) and possibly universities (UBC, U of T, Oxford, Yale, Cambridge)? This would allow the spreading of the costs and maybe make it easier to raise money.


  • Journal of Medical Internet Research (potential) - covers medicine and healthcare (scope)

In 2013 JMIR Publications agreed to pilot-test an peer-reviewed format JMIR Wiki Medical Reviews (home page: [dead link]) to publish Wikipedia (Review) and Wikiversity (Original Works) papers.

Existing Wikipedia articles can be submitted via this link.[dead link] JMIR Publications will publish the first 20 articles free of charge, deposit them in PubMed Central, and will apply for PubMed indexing. Presubmission inquiries can be made to Dr James Heilman (agreed to serve as Editor-in-chief) and Dr Gunther Eysenbach (representative of JMIR Publications).

Other editorial board members are to be recruited (ideally active in Wikipedia Medicine). Editorial board members encourage Wikipedia authors to submit their articles to the journal for peer-review, select external peer-reviewers, and guide articles through the peer-review process. The publisher will coordinate production, which includes converting the Wikipedia article into XML, and depositing the articles in various bibliographic databases and full text databases. It is hoped that the journal will be Medline-indexed and will receive an impact factor. For the latter it is important to primarily publish articles which will be highly cited.


The British Medical Journal organised peer review (but not separate publication) for the Parkinson's disease page in collaboration with Anthony Cole in 2016 (reviews).

Final product[edit]

The final products product is:

  1. A Wikipedia article that reintegrates changes made during the publication process
  2. An indexed, citable, version of record published in the journal (web +/- print copy)

Article priorities[edit]

Figuring out which articles should come first is another piece. A list of the Popular pages from the Medicine project may be a place to start. One idea is to have a mix of articles that are very relevant to all clinicians (e.g., pneumonia) and those that are especially relevant to low-resource countries (e.g., malaria). A list of top priority articles can be found here.

Linking Wikipedia to the published version[edit]

Wikipedia articles that have been peer reviewed and published can be tagged with the {{Academic_peer_reviewed}} template in their references section, which links to the published version, peer reviewer comments and provides an example citation. Such articles are collected in this category.

See also[edit]

Users interested in this proposal[edit]

  1. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:00, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  2. Tarek (talk) 15:28, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  3. Amashari (talk) 03:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  4. G — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anturiaeth (talkcontribs) 13:54, 22 April 2012‎ (UTC)
  5. Axl ¤ [Talk] 19:23, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  6. Sasata (talk) 01:52, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
  7. MastCell Talk 17:51, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
  8. Biosthmors (talk) 18:22, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
  9. Michelleloucks (talk) 08:48, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  10. Remember (talk) 12:57, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
  11. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 02:57, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  12. BonifaceFR (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2012 (UTC) (wp:fr user)
  13. Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 04:38, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  14. Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:48, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  15. Peter.C • talk • contribs 21:57, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
  16. Regards, --—Cyclonenim | Chat  00:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  17. Anything the UK chapter can do to help, tell us: expert outreach is a central part of what we do. MartinPoulter (talk) 20:34, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  18. MistyMorn (talk) 17:31, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  19. Dr Satendra (talk) 14:53, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
  20. GeneralBelly (talk) 20:20, 01 November 2012 (UTC)
  21. Hildabast (talk) 17:30, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
  22. SU ltd. (talk) 02:15, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  23. Jebus989 10:25, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  24. Ian Furst (talk) 17:21, 13 November 2013 (UTC) (I'm also an editorial consultant to the J Can Dent Assoc and could approach their editorial staff if anyone wants)
  25. Bakerstmd (talk) 16:37, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  26. Eyoungstrom Prof. Eric A. Youngstrom (talk) 04:24, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  27. Ongmianli Ongmianli (talk) 20:07, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
  28. Sondra.kinsey (talk) 15:38, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
  29. Diptanshu 💬 06:30, 8 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Shafee, Thomas (2017). "Wikipedia-integrated publishing: a comparison of successful models". Health Inform. 26 (2). doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.27470.77129.
  2. ^ "Academic journals consider partnering with Wikipedia". The Signpost. 2015.
  3. ^ . The Signpost. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Shafee, Thomas (2017). "Wikipedia-integrated publishing: a comparison of successful models". Health Libraries. 26 (2). doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.27470.77129.
  5. ^ Shafee, Thomas; Das, Diptanshu; Masukume, Gwinyai; Häggström, Mikael (15 January 2017). "WikiJournal of Medicine, the first Wikipedia-integrated academic journal". WikiJournal of Medicine. 4 (1). doi:10.15347/wjm/2017.001.
  6. ^ Shafee, Thomas; WikiJSci editorial board (2018-06-01). "The aims and scope of WikiJournal of Science". WikiJournal of Science. 1 (1): 1. doi:10.15347/wjs/2018.001. ISSN 2470-6345.
  7. ^ Maskalyk, J (2 October 2014). "Modern medicine comes online: How putting Wikipedia articles through a medical journal's traditional process can put free, reliable information into as many hands as possible". Open medicine : a peer-reviewed, independent, open-access journal. 8 (4): e116–9. PMID 25426179.