Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Assessment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Curious -- after a couple years of beefing up the neuroblastoma article with current references and thorough history of phase III clinical trials and final clean up for organization/grammar/tone and other elements, it was granted Good Article status. Very pleased the last couple years the article gets about 1000 hits per day -- impressive for an article on a rare pediatric cancer. Now a banner appeared on the talk page Talk:Neuroblastoma a while ago giving it a "stub" status. Looking at the definition and examples of stubs I am confused why the article has stub status? Thanks for any clarification and help. DMLud (talk) 16:22, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Fixed Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)


Who gave Sarcopenia a "low importance" assessment? That seems to be a poor decision. Gacggt (talk) 22:19, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I did (months and months ago); the article struck me as being more about the term (which is not important) than about the phenomenon (which is important). It's changed significantly since then, and I've reassessed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:31, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. Since I've just re-written the article, can the "quality" assessment also be revisited? Thanks again... Gacggt (talk) 22:27, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
It's insufficiently sourced to be a B-class article, and the lead will require a good deal of work before you could consider a good article nomination. Are you familiar with the manual of style for medicine-related articles? It's sometimes helpful for developing a reasonably complete article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:43, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Life skills[edit]

Is Life skills within the scope of this project? I don't want to be unnecessarily exclusionist, but I don't want to treat daily life like a medical issue, either. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it should be in the scope of the project. I see WPMED as covering what physicians practice, rather than being inclusive of all healthcare and social-related items. --Scott Alter 17:43, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Revision of tagging guidelines[edit]

Since the Is WPMED the correct WikiProject to support this article? section was created last year, we have never really discussed the suggestions. I'd like to address these items now. I think that most of the "probably yes" items should be "probably no." Is there any reason to double tag items? When a project is identified as a descendant of WPMED, I think it is no longer necessary to include WPMED. Why bother including all articles of Nursing, Anatomy, and Dentistry, when the respective project already maintains its own listing of articles that are all a sub-set of Medicine? Regarding Pharmacology, although the scope of the project is "articles relating to drugs and pharmacology," I'd say that almost all articles relate to humans. Also, taking a look at current practice, most medications are not tagged with WPMED. Because of this, I would also say that WPMED should not be tagged on medication articles.

The "probably no" and "use judgment" sections look good. The only change I would make is about infectious diseases/pathogens. I think the pathogens should not belong to WPMED, but the diseases should. The pathogens would be tagged with Wikipedia:WikiProject Microbiology, Wikipedia:WikiProject Prokaryotes and protists, Wikipedia:WikiProject Viruses, Wikipedia:WikiProject Fungi, etc. Exceptions would be infections that are treated medically to prevent progression to disease (such as HIV) and pathogens that cause various illnesses that do not have their own disease names (such as Staphylococcus aureus) - the reasoning being that these articles include a significant amount of medical information about pathogen detection and treatment in humans.

Another item I would add to "probably no" is non-medical health-related articles. These would be better covered by Wikipedia:WikiProject Health and fitness. --Scott Alter 18:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Isn't it actually advisable to decide upon all those things in close cooperation with the sister projects? Is there some interaction between the projects? The lists of "probably yes" and "no" need to be coordinated between overlapping projects, otherwise it might be a little futile.
As a new user who just wants to improve Wikipedia, and who's interested in a subject on the cusp between microbiology and prokaryotes and medicine, I find it hard to decide to which project to belong and to whose regulations and scope to be more "loyal".
I just wish there were some "Life and Health Science MetaWikiProject Council" that will address exactly this overlap. But maybe I'm wishing for too much. :-). Pixie (talk) 11:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Each WikiProject gets to determine its own scope. So WPMED can include, or not include, any article it wants, even if it seems utterly irrational to the outside observer. Consequently, there's no need to coordinate with other projects, and when you're tagging an article, you follow the guidelines (if any) for the specific tag. In practice, this means that you follow our advice for placing (or not) the WPMED tag, and when we (meaning "I", since I wrote that section originally) suggest the addition of other projects, it's simply a suggestion.
It's important not to confuse the WikiProject system with article categories. WikiProjects are social groups that have declared an interest in some articles. If people wanted, they could start a "WikiProject Random articles", based on improving any article that they reach by clicking Special:Randompage.
Scott, I like your suggested addition to 'probably not'. I'd be happy to see our list narrowed a bit; we have a lot of articles that we've included simply because there's no WikiProject Physiology. The result is thousands of low-importance (to WPMED) articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
As you can see, I just updated the section. Feel free to make changes or add comments as you see fit. --Scott Alter 03:33, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

WPMED template changes[edit]

At Template talk:WPMED#Meta Banner, I have re-started the discussion of converting {{WPMED}} to use {{WPBannerMeta}}. This would cause minor changes to article categorization, which should have some discussion. It would be appreciated if any interested editors wound contribute at Template talk:WPMED#Meta Banner. --Scott Alter 17:58, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I just updated {{WPMED}}. Many task forces will now have an increase in unknown-importance articles. If the task forces do not assess their articles importance, then articles will appear as unknown instead of taking the main importance for WPMED. The other change is that the names of the categories for unassessed articles has changed. It will now use Category:Unassessed medicine articles and similarly-named categories for the task forces. --Scott Alter 21:14, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Disease outbreaks[edit]

Should this project include articles about disease outbreaks? There are many articles about epidemics (within Category:Epidemics) - some have WPMED tags, others don't. Ideally, they would belong to a public health project, but one does not exist. Alternatively, they might fall under Wikipedia:WikiProject Disaster management. --Scott Alter 16:03, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

From my memory of previous discussions, the two views are "only if they actually had some practice-changing implications for medicine" (otherwise, they're more local history than anything else) and "all of them, but they're low importance". I can work with either option.
As an aside, I'm not convinced that this category (and its subcats) is being correctly applied. It is both strangely empty and contains a few things I wouldn't include. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:21, 28 February 2009 (UTC)


So would you consider Coxsackie A virus to be within the scope of this project? There's some information about diseases and their treatments, but the diseases have other names/separate articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Based on the criteria I wrote, probably not...but I wouldn't be opposed to its inclusion. It is hard to generalize all organisms/infections. Maybe another criterion to add is to include any organism that causes a disease process that also could be caused by other things. So, using coxsackie as an example:
  • Coxsackie A virus would be excluded, since it is one of the few causes of Hand, foot and mouth disease (which should contain medical information)
  • Coxsackie B virus would be included, since it can be the source of problems with many other potential causes. In pericarditis and myocarditis, coxsackie B might be mentioned as a cause, but I would not expect the illness articles to contain specific management for coxsackie B (unlike the coxsackie A with hand, foot and mouth disease).
I realize that this is basically splitting hairs and being overly specific, but I'm just trying to put my thought process into words and making it generalizable to all articles. If you can do it better (or want to use different criteria), give it a shot! I'm not that strongly in favor one way or the other, but I think the way I outlined makes sense such that WPMED is only including the articles with the bulk of the medical information. --Scott Alter 03:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
If this were an easy one, I wouldn't have asked.  ;-)
Let's say that we included both of them for the sake of my next question: How would you rate the importance of a good article to this project? Both mid? Both low? Cocksackie B at mid, and Cocksackie A at low? Something else? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Another one for comment[edit]

Is Genital retraction syndrome a "medical condition"? Is it within the scope of this project? If so, is it Mid- or Low-importance? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Looks more apropos of WP Psychology. If it is a medical condition, would think low-importance. Zodon (talk) 02:45, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

What about Nicotine polacrilex? It seems to be the active ingredient in nicotine chewing gum and such things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Nicotine polacrilex should be under the scope of WP:DRUGS. Renaissancee (talk) 23:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Why isn't sexuality and disability WPMED?[edit]

The WPMED tag which I added to Sexuality and disability was recently removed, with the comment that the article appears to be outside the scope of WPMED. I am having troubles figuring out why it would be outside the scope, given that disability and Assistive technology are in WPMED.

Reproductive health counseling includes assistance for disabled and information on sexuality in older age. Likewise, there are medical procedures, medications and devices to assist the disabled with sexuality (restoring sexual function, working around limitations, etc.). Thoughts? Zodon (talk) 05:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly about this, but in general, the subject of that stub does not appear to be (1) a disease or (2) a treatment for a disease, which are the core areas for this project. In fact, it appears to be about normal life, as complicated by various social and physical challenges. We don't really want to medicalize everything. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:40, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Not trying to over medicalize, guess I tend to include conditions as well as diseases, and see disabilities as typically conditions that result from diseases, accidents, physiological malfunction or other medical causes -- which are usually studied, treated, and ameliorated by medical people or medical means. Zodon (talk) 07:11, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't claim to have the one True™ answer here; it's certainly an issue over which reasonable people can disagree.
The decision is also complicated by the stubbiness of the article. From the title, I think that this is more likely to move in a sociological direction: e.g., society frowns on sexual activity among disabled people, it's hard for a disabled person to find a partner, do paraphilias, infertility and impotence really count as disabilities (I think most people would say no), and so forth. I don't really think there's all that much to be said about core medical issues. A disabled person that has, or wants to have, sex is not really any more likely to need medical intervention than a non-disabled person. Perhaps you have a different notion of what the article will eventually say? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:49, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

House (TV series)[edit]

Is House (TV series) within the scope of this project? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:36, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Nope, House is a TV Show, not a documentary or a important physician. Doesn't meet our scope. Renaissancee (talk) 16:33, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Good, because that's what I thought, and so I pulled the tag. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:28, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Major country-specific articles[edit]

Normally, a country specific article is low importance. But what about a major article area, like "Health in (name of country)"? Low, or mid? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Hospitals and Major Biomedical research centers?[edit]

Are they in our scope or not? The preset scope does not give me any help. Renaissancee (talk) 04:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes -- assuming that they are truly notable/shouldn't be deleted -- but of "Low" importance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:29, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Yawn: in or out?[edit]

What do you think: Is Yawn within the scope of this project? I think it can be a medical sign, but the article doesn't really discuss that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

In. It has diagnostic relevance, e.g. in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine. JFW | T@lk 21:20, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
 Done C/Mid, then, seems about right to me. There's almost no medical information (so it's not complete enough for us to declare B class), and since it relates to hyperventilation and migraine (and perhaps more), then mid seems reasonable enough. Please feel free to change if you disagree. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

In or out? (six)[edit]

What do you think? Are the following articles within WPMED's scope?

  1. Human anatomy
  2. Fetal position
  3. ACAM2000 (smallpox vaccine)
  4. 72F fusion protein (experimental tuberculosis vaccine)
  5. Lujo virus (virus, with reported cases)
  6. A Counterblaste to Tobacco (old medical/health publication)

Please share your opinions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:11, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

  1. Anatomy? I think you already know my answer for that. It's not under our scope.
  2. Fetal Position doesn't really have to do with medicine at all except you can get yourself into their, so I'd say no.
  3. Smallpox Vaccine: Drug, under WPPHARM
  4. Vaccine: Drug, under WPPHARM
  5. Lujo Virus: Yes, disease.
  6. The Treatsie? If that task force of "potentional quackery" or whatever we're going to call it is passed, I believe it should be under WPMED, if not, then no, it shouldn't.

Renaissancee (talk) 16:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

  1. We accept Alternative medicine, and Human anatomy is a major subject area that is no less related.
  2. Fetal position is a major issue for obstetrics. An unfortunate presentation could be classified as a medical condition.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

______ Anonymous[edit]

Lots of these articles like AA or Marijuana Anonymous, ect have popped up with the WPMED tag. Are they under our scope? Renaissancee (talk) 16:20, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

After several days of scratching my head over that, I finally assessed them today, but I'm not committed to it. Ultimately, my thought was this: we accept a whole lot of disease-related organizations, like Talk:American Cancer Society, and who's to say that drug addiction is less of a "disease" than cancer? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

In or out: Urban legends about illegal drugs[edit]

Is Urban legends about illegal drugs within the scope of WPMED? It seems more WP:HEALTH to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:36, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

In or out: Psychologist studying biology of vision[edit]

What subject area would you classify Thomas T. Norton in? Psychology, because he has a PhD in psychology? Or ophthalmology, because of his work on how the eye works? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:36, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Both. Renaissancee (talk) 01:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

A classification[edit]

Little unsure about the A classification. Does it require a formal review? Or can they simply be applied? Tay Sachs disease has some formatting issues and contains numerous pictures that add nothing? Were would one post to have it reassessed? Cheers--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:52, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

WPMED does not have a process for identifying A-class articles. The general recommendations (i.e., from other articles) are that A-class articles should be reviewed by two editors who are at least somewhat familiar with the content area, and who have not been significantly involved.
If you think that a previously identified A-class no longer deserves that ranking, then you should feel free to demote it unilaterally. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Medical Law[edit]

The [Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005] was added to our scope a few days ago, but I have no clue if it should be under our wing, should we give it to WP Law? Or what? Renaissancee (talk) 17:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Law that apply specifically to medicine I feel belong under WP:MED. Of low importance however.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:56, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Does Mercury (element) belong with WP:MED?[edit]

Any comments? My personal opinion is no. A page on the medical aspect of mercury yes but not on mercury in general. Lead for example is not part of WP:MED.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:09, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

No. This is what mercury poisoning is for. JFW | T@lk 22:29, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
removed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:18, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Water purification[edit]

Is Water purification within our scope? Municipal water treatment certainly prevents some infectious diseases, but is it really a "medical" article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:39, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Where does medicine stop and public health/hygiene start? I don't think this is a medical subject, but that's personal. JFW | T@lk 20:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Public health IMO belong within medicine. One can do an entire sub specialty in it.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Medical article? No..not really. As Jfd said, it does stop some infectious diseases and whatnot, but its main purpose is to reuse wasted water, not to save lives by cleaning it. Renaissancee (talk) 20:14, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
It's been removed, and I've picked up Waterborne diseases, which clearly does fit in our scope. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Medical Equipment[edit]

Cane came up under our scope, presumably for the white cane used by the visually impaired. Should we add popular medical equipment to our scope at low importance? Renaissancee (talk) 19:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I've been ignoring it in the hope that the merge proposal will be decided one way or the other before we have to make a decision. I lean slightly towards including it as durable medical equipment: it's not really any less medical than a powerchair. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:23, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I removed it due to the article white cane, which is the one used by the visually impaired. Renaissancee (talk) 23:13, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
What about people who use canes because they have trouble walking? If Walker (mobility) is in our scope, shouldn't the smaller and far more common cane (walking stick) be in our scope? WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:19, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

A classification (2)[edit]

We do not really use the A classification system. Wondering if we should just get rid of it? Having it between GA and FA without any formal mechanism of review I think confuses matters.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:51, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I would approve of the motion. Renaissancee (talk) 01:34, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
We can't exactly get rid of it, since the overall scheme belongs to WP:1.0, and so long as articles are assessed in that class, it will automatically turn up in the stats table.
Has anyone actually been confused by it? I find it easy to ignore things like that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:25, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
How about every GA automatically becoming A-class? It would rapidly populate the empty category. JFW | T@lk 10:28, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
There is a specific GA review. I recommend we just change the two A class articles to Bs and request the editors apply for GA.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:41, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Why not just leave them alone, and do something more important? The old assessments aren't actually hurting anything, are they? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:44, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
The A class people have their own assessment processes. You cannot just dismiss them, in my opinion. Agree with WhatamIdoing. Just leave them alone. —mattisse (Talk) 01:48, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Is there a formal process? I am not sure if having a category between GA and FA really adds anything in a project the size of this. Well they are not hurting anyone I do not really see the point currently in its existence.Doc James (talk · contribs · email)
There is a formal process at other WikiProjects. The 1.0 team has apparently declared that all A-class designations must be reviewed/approved by a minimum of two editors (GA requires only one). So long as two editors are involved, WikiProject Medicine can apparently use any process it chooses to declare an article to be A-class. Since the class standards were last revised (mid-2008?), we haven't bothered to do this -- speaking only for myself, it seems likely that so few articles are likely to qualify that it doesn't seem pointful -- but there's nothing to prevent us. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:12, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Some projects, like Military History, have a tight A-class evaluation method and high standards, and consequently they have gotten many articles through FAC. So A-class is beneficial if a project is organized and goal-directed. GA is aiming for a minimum article quality and don't reliably use WP:MEDRS. —mattisse (Talk) 19:39, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. Have removed Diborane from WP:MED as it does not contain any referenced content to this project and other than an MSDS link is not within scope.
  2. We thus have one remaining A class article Myocardial infarction. Well the article is good there are still some unreferenced sections. If would require some ( probably not a lot ) of work to meet GA criteria. Should we delist it from being an A article? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:17, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
My usual rule of thumb is that a B-class article must have at least one inline ref per section. MI doesn't meet that standard, but I might be willing to overlook it. I do not think, however, that we can accept it being listed as A-class with two significant sections completely unref'd. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:29, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Good rule of thumb. MI however is fairly comprehensive and I have no problem with it being B. Would not require much work to get to GA.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:49, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

MI is not in a great state and needs work to qualify for GA. Agree with B-class until the lay terminology has been trimmed, appropriate subarticles are linked to, and MEDRS have been used instead of ~180 mostly primary sources. JFW | T@lk 11:09, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Medical Journals..?[edit]

I had a Med. Journal that popped up in assessment. Yes/no? I think it should be added at low importance only if it is a very creditably and notable in the academic world. Renaissancee (talk) 01:35, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

It's more important that it get tagged for {{WPJournals}}, but I generally accept all medical journals, with importance set to Low. After all, we're the editors most likely to improve articles like Medical Hypotheses. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:53, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Stub stuff[edit]

I think we need to review the stubs. My guess is that about 5% of our 'stubs' are no longer stubs. Does anyone want to help? If you're interested in doing this, these are the steps that I normally do in this process:

  1. Make sure that the page is not a redirect to another article. (Leave a note for me with the article name if you encounter this.)
  2. Skim the article to check for obvious vandalism.
  3. Count sentences (after reverting vandalism or other major problems): As a rule of thumb, if it's more than 10 sentences, it's not a stub.
    • If an article looks better than the typical stub, but it only has eight to ten sentences, then a good image, a list, or a completed infobox should be counted as 'sentences' for this purpose.
    • If an article looks worse than the average stub despite being long (say, because it is very wordy without really saying anything, or because it has eleven extremely short sentences), then please leave it marked as a stub despite complying with this rule of thumb.
  4. If it's not a stub any longer, then please:
    • Remove any {{stub}}-type templates from the bottom of the article.
    • Make sure that there is some sort of category listed at the bottom of the article (some articles rely on the stub templates for their cats).
    • Update the |class=Stub on the talk page to reflect the correct class (probably now "Start"). If you're at all uncertain what the correct class is, then simply delete the "Stub" designation, and it will get added to my list of unassessed articles.
    • Consider helping our friends at these projects by updating the quality assessment for the other projects at the same time. If it's definitely not a stub for us, then it's probably not a stub for anyone.
  5. Make sure the subject is appropriate for WPMED:

This takes a long time to explain, but it doesn't usually take me more than a few seconds per article (especially if nothing needs to be changed). There are so many to be reviewed that I'd appreciate some help.

To avoid duplicating work, we can coordinate efforts by first letter, e.g., articles starting with the letter L. Is anyone willing to help? (I'll let you pick a letter first, if you want.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

 Done I meant to say above: I've already done the few articles whose names start with numbers, so please pick from A to Z, not from 0 to 9. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

I would like to help: where is the list of stubs? doctorwolfie (talk) 18:51, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

The stubs are at Category:Stub-Class_medicine_articles. I've done the stubs listed under the letters "Y" and "Z" and plan to do "X" soon. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Should I start at A and work forward?doctorwolfie (talk) 13:58, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

That works for me -- although to be candid, I started at the end because "A" has so many pages in it (including a bunch of purely anatomy pages that need to have the WPMED tag removed). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Just to make sure I understand correctly A_delta_fiber looks like it has expanded to more than 10 sentences, and looks like it has grown larger than a stub? So I can de-stubbify it?doctorwolfie (talk) 20:35, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, exactly. I'd rate that one as 'start' instead of 'stub'.
The subject looks more anatomy-ish than medicine-ly to me, but since a task force tagged it, I'd probably leave the WPMED tag on the article (after upgrading to 'start'), and add the WikiProject Anatomy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I hate to be pesky, but I want to make sure that I'm helping rather than harming: Can you check and see if I did it right (I just changed the stub to start and added Anatomy) Please let me know if there's anything else to do.

Also ARCH_Air_Medical_Service seems to be quite lengthy now, but still doesn't have any references (lots of links, though); what's to be done with it?

Thanksdoctorwolfie (talk) 21:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to ask me questions: I'm happy to answer them, and it reminds me about what other people find confusing about this process.
The stub tag on the article gets removed entirely in these cases. The banner changes all happen on the talk page. If you look at my recent changes to A delta fiber and Talk:A delta fiber, then you'll see what I did. (Also, I pulled the Category:Anatomy, because it seemed redundant to the Neuroanatomy category.)
Articles with no refs cannot be rated higher than Start class, no matter how long. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:16, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I think I'm catching on doctorwolfie (talk) 22:29, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I finally made it through the W's. "U" and "V" are my next targets. How are you doing with A? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:44, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Slow....AND my laptop died, so I can only work from work until it gets fixed doctorwolfie (talk) 17:20, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry to hear that your laptop died. I know it's slow going under those circumstances, but I really appreciate the help (and the company!). I'm working backwards on my target list. I have all of "U" to go, but only about 30 left in "V" (I've finished all the Vs after "Van"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:11, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I finally got the last few pages in "V" done. I won't be able to work on this much for the next few days, but I hope to get started on "U" before the weekend. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:40, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


Is Washing within the scope of this project? Scrubbing for surgery (which I can't seem to find) would be, but regular washing seems more like a 'daily life' than a truly medical subject. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:09, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

handwashing is but I would say washing is not. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:10, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

In or out?[edit]

Is Health management system within the scope of WPMED? Is this mainstream or AltMed or something else (biology?)?

What about Blood serum? Is that more "medicine" or more "anatomy"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

When one says HMS what we cover is not what pops into my mind. This page needs a disambig page to deal with the medical health management systems. [1] The one above is altmed. Blood serum would be anatomy IMO.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:27, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Archive for this page[edit]

I just removed from old requests that have been resolved. Do we have an archive for this page? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:49, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

We manually archive this talk page, but not the requests at WP:MEDA. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Possible top importance neurology articles[edit]

I would say that Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis could be top articles for neurology. In addition, the latter is very visited.--Garrondo (talk) 06:18, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Agree these should be top importance medicine articles.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:44, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Excellent suggestions. I've updated both pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Protection of our projects best works[edit]

As mentioned here we have had some vandalism go un reverted on some of our best articles. It takes a great effort and IMO all FAs and GAs should be either under semi protection or flagged revisions.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:45, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

What to do with set indices[edit]

So we have a number of articles that are WP:SETINDEXes. (Acute leukemia is an example, and the reason I started looking into this.)

These pages are sort of halfway between a proper list article and a disambiguation page. A proper disambiguation page has no connection (other than their names) between the items listed on the page. A set index has a significant connection; they are "Lists of all Xs named Y"—all diseases named acute leukemia, for example, or all diseases named Wilson's. By contrast, a proper disambiguation page would be all things named Wilson's, and include not just Wilson's disease and Wilson's thyroid syndrome from medicine, but also Wilson's half a dozen birds, Wilson's theorem from math, and several businesses named Wilson's.

They're also not exactly, perfectly like regular articles. I can't imagine anyone turning Acute leukemia into a full, feature-length article, because it is, properly speaking, more than one disease.

Most of WPMED's set indices have been tagged with {{disambig}}. They should be tagged with {{SIA}}. But then my question is: How do we assess them? Are they lists? Are they stubs? Are they disambig-class?

What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd never heard of set indices before you mentioned this, but they makes sense. After putting some thought into it, I'm not sure Acute leukemia is even a set index. Diseases containing the words "acute leukemia" are all distinct processes that share common characteristics. Set indices appear to be for a set of articles that all have the same exact name, except for some sort of disambiguating modifier (whether a year, location, or model number). The examples used include different versions of the same thing with the same exact name (Dodge Charger) and multiple versions of similar things with the same exact name (USS Enterprise and List of peaks named Signal Mountain). I don't think different versions with similar, but non-identical names (Acute leukemias) would count. The question of disambiguation vs. set index comes down to whether acute leukemias are "different types of things that share the same (or similar) name" or "specific type[s] that share the same (or similar) name." While acute leukemia is a type of diseases, it isn't specific enough type for me to consider the articles listed at Acute leukemia to be a set.
If someone searches for "acute leukemia," that person does not really know what they are looking for, and thus needs a disambiguation page to figure out which topic he/she wanted. Acute leukemia should either be a disambiguation page or an article describing the method of classifying and differentiating acute leukemias. I prefer the former.
I basically just avoided answering your question, but using the criteria I just synthesized above, I can't think of any WPMED articles that are set indices. Maybe if you can give me a different example, I'll try to give a more relevant (but possibly completely contradictory (if I come up with different logic)) response! As much as I hate to say it, assessment of these pages might just have to be on a case-by-case basis. --Scott Alter (talk) 20:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Since this discussion, I have been pointed what I believe is the answer: WP:DABCONCEPT. Basically, it endorses the second of your options, that we ought to write an article that describes the concept and provides summaries and links to the members, rather than just links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:22, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
That does seem like what we are describing. Although it did not exist when this discussion was started. (Created here.) --Scott Alter (talk) 01:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:MEDs most popular pages[edit]

A lot of the most popular pages do not pertain directly to medicine. Have been mentioning this page in a number of publications. Wondering if we should removed some of the terms like anal sex, female ejaculation and masturbation from WP:MED? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:24, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly about it either way, but I generally think these are not, strictly speaking, medical subjects. I feel the same about Infant, which is also tagged as WPMED. I think some of the impetus behind this is overmedicalization, and some (in the case of Infant) is the absence of a "perfect" project to support it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Good point. I think WP:BOLD should be used and feel free to remove these entries from WP:MED without asking. If someone has a different opinion about that, they will let us know. NCurse work 12:06, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Anal sex is human sexual behaviour and psychology. While it predisposes to disease, it is not in itself a medical concept.
Female ejaculation is Human physiology and falls under the scope of this project.
Masturbation is human sexual behaviour and psychology. It has no medical context (although it might have had in the 19th century).
Infant is more difficult, because growth and development are physiological and psychological concepts that probably belong under this project. JFW | T@lk 12:33, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Sexual intercourse covers anal sex and thus IMO is okay to keep. This is similar to how motor vehicular collision is within the project but car is not. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:18, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
As I stated, look at Wikipedia: WikiProject Medicine. It states, "This project aims to enable Wikipedians to cooperate, organize, make suggestions and share ideas on the improvement of the medicine and health-related articles." As I stated to James, anal sex is a health-related article. Yes, people who engage in it won't necessarily have medical problems. But people who have vaginal sex won't necessarily have medical problems either, and yet I don't see you removing Sexual intercourse from being within the project's scope. Anal sex is just one aspect of sexual intercourse, so why shouldn't it be within the project's scope? Why shouldn't it be within the project's scope when it's been shown to be far riskier than any other type of sexual activity? The article clearly demonstrates this. Anal sex is riskier in terms of STIs/STDs, and is even risky when it comes to the anatomy of the anus/rectum, if people aren't careful (sufficient lubrication, and so on). So exactly how is it wrong to list this article as within the scope of WikiProject Medicine? Because, no doubt, when it comes to having a project weigh in on aspects of this article, WikiProject Medicine would be just as important as Wikipedia:WikiProject Sexology and sexuality (even more so considering how inactive Wikipedia:WikiProject Sexology and sexuality can be).
Why is Wikipedia: WikiProject Medicine starting to be so strict in what it lists as within its scope?
Should sexual topics such as anal sex never be brought here when it relates to health or medicine? Flyer22 (talk) 00:21, 12 July 2011
Never mind. James's reasoning that "Sexual intercourse covers anal sex and thus IMO is okay to keep. This is similar to how motor vehicular collision is within the project but car is not." is sufficient enough. Although I don't see the comparison as that great; "car" has nothing to do with "health," unless you count fumes coming from it, while anal sex and other sexual acts do. I'm also going to have to disagree with Jfdwolff about sexual acts not being physiological, since plenty of reliable sources describe them as such. But, anyway, that should mean that bringing issues regarding health aspects of the Anal sex article here is okay. But I still feel that WikiProject Medicine is being too strict. Flyer22 (talk) 00:27, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, maybe we're being a little strict, although to be accurate, we've been that way for years.
At some level, the only issue is "What does this group of people want to work on?" The scope doesn't have to be rational or make sense to outsiders (although, since it's us, it probably will anyway). If we decided that we wanted to work on Podunk, Massachusetts, then we could legitimately declare that article to be within our scope.
In terms of the borderline cases, one of the standards we've used is how much of the article is really health-related. Sometimes we'll tag an article that, strictly speaking, is about anatomy, but we accept it because it has a substantial amount of material related to (say) a disease process in that bit of anatomy. We also consider whether another group (here, WP:SEX) exists to follow the articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:38, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining how you guys generally work. I don't follow this project closely, obviously. Wikipedia:WikiProject Sexology and sexuality is pretty inactive these days, though. Flyer22 (talk) 00:46, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the key though is to get Wikiproject Sexology and sexuality more active. Rather than having WPMED co cover all these topics. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:04, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Good point. But a lot of Wikiprojects seem to be dying. I'm not sure how I could get any of them more active. But oh well. Just have to operate without them for the most part. Flyer22 (talk) 01:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:REVIVE has some advice on how to do that. IMO the most important thing to remember is that a WikiProject is a group of people, not some pages or content. Successful WikiProjects are first and foremost a group of friends who are working together. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:22, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
?Here's another one for the borderlands: Is Vivisection really a medical topic? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes not current medicine but maybe part of the history of medicine. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:52, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Old reassessments[edit]

  • Biomarker (medicine)
    • I've re-assessed as C class, but is this really low-importance? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:19, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
      • It's currently at mid-importance, for the curious. Biosthmors (talk) 04:01, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Roussy–Lévy syndrome
    • Seemed like it could be start or C class, I just made it start class. Biosthmors (talk) 19:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Congenital generalized lipodystrophy
    • Marked as C-class and low importance due to being so rare. Biosthmors (talk) 19:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Immunoassay
    • Seems like it could be start or C-class so I left it as start class. Biosthmors (talk) 19:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Costochondritis
    • It might be C-class but I just put it at start. It definitely wasn't stub class! Biosthmors (talk) 19:18, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Bronchitis
    • It might be start class (due to an over-reliance on tertiary sources), but I'll leave it at C-class. Biosthmors (talk) 04:00, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Genital wart
    • Since i recently did a bunch of work on this before nominating it for review, i would prefer someone else review it, pretty please. -- UseTheCommandLine (talk) 18:28, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Thanks for your work. I'd say it's in between start class and C class. I just left it at start. (I don't spend much time on these reassessments, so please don't place too much importance on my opinion =).) Biosthmors (talk) 19:59, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Vertigo
    • I bumped up this one up from start to C-class. Biosthmors (talk) 19:59, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Medical Image Computing
    • The MIC community has added materials a links to the page. At this point it is not a stub. It might rate a B. It also might rate a mid priority.
      • Great! I am not knowledgeable enough in this field to say if it is a B-class or not, so I cautiously kept it at C-class. Doesn't matter though. If anyone wants to try to get it up to GA status they could list at WP:MEDGA2013. Best. Biosthmors (talk) 22:34, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
      • I agree with C-class. My rule of thumb (considered somewhat lenient by some editors) is that B-class articles must have at least one inline citation in each section, and this does not. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Podoconiosis
    • Just to quickly get a ranking down, I put it at start and low. Biosthmors (talk) 22:34, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Talk:Analysis of clinical trials needs a priority. I couldn't decide between Mid and Low, so I'm leaving it for someone else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:39, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
    • I'll put low just because it seems kind of content forky. Biosthmors (talk) 04:11, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Cats and books[edit]

Does anyone know why cats, templates, and books are turning up as "NA" rather than cats, books, and templates in some, but not all, of the task force stats? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:54, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes - not all task forces have categories for "Template/Category/Book-Class x articles". {{WPMED}} will automatically detect if these categories exist. If they do, it will place the page in that category. If not, it will place the page in the NA category. When the task forces were created, we did not create all of the "expanded" class categories for them. Only the task forces that wanted to specifically use them created those categories. If you want to use them, just create the categories. Eventually, the pages will be re-categorized. Or, you can null edit the talk pages to recategorize the pages by force. --Scott Alter (talk) 13:38, 17 March 2013 (UTC)


There's a new calculation being listed with the stats. Basically, it's 6 points (against) for every stub, and 5 for every start-class article within the project's scope. The goal is to get to zero (all featured/all the group's wikiwork is complete). This might be useful for tracking over time, but the lag in reassessment plus the growth in articles might result in significant work being recorded as losing ground. The average status might be more useful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:57, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Is this tracked over time anywhere? Just a single number as is shown now doesn't say much. Would be nice to have some automatically updated graphs on some of the assessment statistics (also motivating to keep them up-to-date). --WS (talk) 13:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

In or out? (again)[edit]

Is Enzyme within our scope, or not? I'm thinking 'not', but I wanted to get other people's opinions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:33, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

That's my impression as well. Biosthmors (talk) 15:55, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I've removed it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:31, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Just to let you know[edit]

This project has been mentioned at: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Council#More_on_Project_Assessments. XOttawahitech (talk) 03:11, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Stub or List?[edit]

I'm not sure how to rate Pegleg. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

I would say start-class. Although a large part of it is currently a list, this is just a part of the article, I would only rate it list-class if the title would be 'List of pegleg wearers'. Including the list, I would not rate it as stub, but you could do that based on its textual content only. --WS (talk) 08:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Coronary thrombosis[edit]

Should Coronary thrombosis be mid-priority or high? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Mid-priority, as it is a contributing factor to myocardial infarction but usually as a consequence of atherosclerotic plaque rupture. JFW | T@lk 20:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Menstrual hygiene[edit]

I've added Tampon, Sanitary napkin, Cloth menstrual pad, Menstrual cup, and Pantiliner to WPMED reproductive = yes. They all need quality and importance ratings.

All of these articles suffer from poorly sourced and POV medical information. Menstrual hygiene is an important component of reproductive health, particularly in countries where it is lacking. And tampons, sanitary napkins, and menstrual cups are all classified as medical devices in the U.S. by the FDA. I think all of these articles could be really improved with some WPMED input. Thanks! Mvolz (talk) 16:18, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


Is David Bohm within the scope of this project (realistically/actual practical support)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:20, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Getting a bot to tag articles[edit]

The Earwig has very kindly set User:EarwigBot to tagging biographies with the |society=yes parameter for us, and picking up a few of the simpler quality assessments at the same time. I think that we could get this done every now and again, especially if we point back to this talk-page discussion, which contains the magic code for the bot. Once the code exists, it's easy to set up the bot. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:31, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Change "Importance" to "Popularity" or something else[edit]

I'm a physician who has just started thinking about editing medicine wikipedia articles --

It's concerning to me that real, serious conditions that affect people in large ways, but are less frequent than others, are labeled "low importance" -- I don't think it's the right term, if it's a measure of how many general-purpose readers are going to be interested in a particular topic.

How about "low popularity"? Or some other term?

I'm thinking about figuring out how to change this, unless there's some reason to keep it that I don't know about. It's just not the right term. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SlamNo7 (talkcontribs) 04:44, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

@SlamNo7: This is the accepted term across Wikipedia. Will be pretty hard to change. From a broader perspective, importance and popularity are interchangeable concepts. JFW | T@lk 21:01, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
@Jfdwolff: OK, I guess I can say that I totally hear what you're saying and understand what you mean about the broader perspective ... at the same time, I'm thinking about a patient googling the condition that they are disabled by and finding out that it's not important [not knowing what it means across wikipedia] :/ That being said, point taken -- thank you for the message...
@SlamNo7:, the other possible name is |priority=, which is much more accurate. But changing it would require editing tens of thousands of pages, so we didn't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:51, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

WikiProject Medicine and importance ratings[edit]

Hello everyone! I'm currently working on a project with Aaron Halfaker where we are studying how to do automated classification of article importance. In case you're wondering who I am and why I'm the one working on this, as part of my PhD I studied using machine learning to predict article quality and helped develop parts of ORES to enable it to make article quality predictions. We've previously collaborated with User:WhatamIdoing and created lists of articles that are good candidates for quality rating reassessment (here is an older one on meta), most recently this list from about a month ago.

We are interested in making article importance predictions and as our project page mentions we are looking into doing this both on a high level (e.g. the entire English Wikipedia) as well as for specific WikiProjects. I chose WikiProject Medicine as a test case because of our collaborations and because this is an active and well-run project.

I've recently trained a machine learner to make importance predictions for WikiProject Medicine's articles with a Top-, High-, Mid-, or Low-importance rating. We feed the machine learner three measures for each article: daily average number of views over the past four weeks, number of links pointing to the article, and the proportion of links pointing to the article that come from other articles within WikiProject Medicine. Using these measures we are able to correctly predict the importance rating of 63.6% of all articles in our dataset (18,654 of 29,320 articles).

We are interested in improving our classifier. Some of that improvement might come from adding sources of information to our model. We started out with a simple model partly to learn how it performs, but also because they are often easier to explain. What additional information we might use is not yet decided, if you have ideas (e.g. "these important medical topics have a specific property in Wikidata") I'd be happy to hear about them.

I'd also like to discuss what "importance" means in the context of WikiProject Medicine and how importance ratings are applied to the project's articles. If we take a look at the importance scale, our idea of using popularity and number of links pointing to an article appears to map fairly well onto that scale. Yet, when we use our model to predict importance we get some interesting examples of where the prediction differs from the actual rating.

Four Top-importance articles are predicted to be Mid-importance:

82 High-importance articles are predicted to be Low-importance. In the interest of space I won't list them all, here are four examples:

306 Mid-importance articles are predicted to be Top-importance. Again I won't list them all, here are four examples of these:

1,002 Low-importance articles are predicted to be High-importance. Here are four examples:

Lastly, 60 Low-importance articles are predicted to be Top-importance. Four of those are:

Generally, an article that is predicted to be Mid-/Low-importance is not very popular and has few other articles pointing to it. Articles that are predicted as High-/Top importance are the opposite. Since I am not a medical professional I don't see me as qualified to judge whether an article's importance rating is correct (e.g. before I learned that our model predicts Chukwuedu Nwokolo to be Low-importance I had no idea who he was, but from reading the article he seems rather important). Therefore I won't make strong statements about whether I think our classifier is on the right track. I would, however, love to have a discussion about it! Curious to learn what other members of WikiProject Medicine think, please pitch in with your thoughts and comments! Regards, Nettrom (talk) 21:37, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Nettrom, you are awesome. We have a few quirks in our rating system. Of those, the most important from your POV are that people, books, laws, journals, organizations, etc. are all low-importance. But excluding those quirks, this is a gold mine. Some of them might be not quite where we'd place it (e.g., you predict Top, we choose High), but this is incredibly helpful. Thank you.
Are you familiar with the old WP:1.0 project? I think that group is largely inactive, but there's been some talk about sideloading a subset of Wikipedia, and your approach might make a good way to do that.
User:Doc James, is anyone else active in article assessment work these days? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:49, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I am of course interested in article assessment.
With respect to "tooth decay" if affects 2.43 billion people making it a big deal. Refractive errors affect 1 to 2 billion and nearsightedness 1.5 billion.
Major trauma is the 5th and 7th leading causes of death globally.
Agree abortion should be top importance and adjusted it to such.
Agree that the 4 high importance should be low.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is local in scope (ie US importance) thus it is not top importance.
Alt med, journals, diets, people, and local medical politics are low importance with respect to WPMED. Euphoria is an emotion which with respect to clinical medicine is of low importance. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:54, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing and Doc James: Thank you so much for commenting, this is really helpful feedback! Apologies for not reading the importance scale description more closely, I might have picked up the various categories of Low-importance if I did. I'll see if I can incorporate that kind of information into our model. BTW, I've got a query that lists 134 candidates for reassessment, and I'll try to go through those.
The notes on how many people are affected by various diseases is very helpful, thanks! We started out by just using article views in our model, and I'm wondering if that results in certain medical issues being ranked low because people aren't reading about it on Wikipedia. That might also mean that our model has a bias towards Western/English-speaking information-seeking behaviour. If we could incorporate information about how many people are affected our model would probably improve greatly. Is that kind of information (readily) available somewhere?
I am somewhat familiar with the WP 1.0 project and have read through their archives trying to figure out how exactly they calculated importance, I know at some point they developed a formula and used a bot to label articles. If my memory is correct, popularity and number of links pointing to an article where also used there (in addition to other things), but their approach was also slightly different than we do. They calculated a score and then used those to categorise, whereas we take WikiProject categories and train a machine learner to figure out the calculation. Either way, we're both looking to determine roughly the same thing. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 19:49, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
The 1.0 group needed to come up with a model that was "probably matters", whereas I only need a model that gives me "probably matters to my particular group". Leonardo da Vinci should be a top- or high-importance article overall, but I don't happen to care about it.
There was some talk of putting disease prevalence data onto Wikidata, but I don't know the status of that project. Lane, do you remember that? Did anything come of it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:01, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing This is a dead trail - I have nothing to add. There was a certain pharma company in about 2013 who was asking various Wikipedians about automatically generating prevalence articles in English Wikipedia (like for example, "Diabetes in Scotland", with census-style information on prevalence and treatment and a dump of seemingly relevant citations). That never went anywhere, but they were quite serious about funding something if only it could be predicted that the community would accept it.
I do not recall anyone proposing a serious project to post any prevalence database to Wikidata. I might have happened and maybe I forgot. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:10, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Nettrom The 1.0 group was a 2003 chat which made some arbitrary decisions that got adopted but never critically examined. The ratings system is well loved but it could change. I appreciate that you are starting from what is currently accepted, and I think that the importance scale generally works, but with you as a professional looking at this if you have ideas for big changes then please present them as alternative ways of doing this. Two issues above- the Affordable Care Act has an intimate connection with perhaps 500 billion dollars annually but kind of out of scope here, and da Vinci is a biography of someone who influenced cultural aspects of medicine. Wikipedia in general has problems with ranking intersections of topics. Another commonly cited example is that Hitler worked as an artist, so his name appeared in lists of high-traffic art-related articles. Ideally, we would be able to detect when something is part of a set but out of scope for what people expect to see. If you can even articulate the limitations you see in the current system then that would be a great outcome. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:26, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
A number of us are working on an infobox update. You can see an example here gout. Frequency is in the infobox as is mortality. Once 500 or so infoboxes are updated to this the plan was to put it on Wikidata by bot. The update is on my list of "things to do"
Wikipedia of course contain data on frequency of diseases. Usually this is found in the last paragraph of the lead and the epidemiology section of the body. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:16, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Bluerasberry Thanks again for your comments! I thought I'd respond here too because the issue with intersections is something I've been thinking about and will look further into. I've already bumped into it in several different ways. When it comes to WP:MED and our prediction models we're mainly interested in the articles that default to Low-importance. One way to handle those is to add information to the model, but I'm also wondering if these articles are arguing for WP:MED's importance scale getting an additional category (or the articles not being in scope of WP:MED, but I'm not sure that's a useful path for the discussion to take). Something along the lines of "we'd like to keep an eye on this article, but it's not within our main interest area so it's not actually important." I know some projects added a "bottom" importance to their scale, but this seems different, because to me giving these articles an importance rating has a different meaning (this is also the problem with rating them Low-importance, it overloads the meaning of what "Low-importance" is). As you can see, I don't have a clear idea of how to proceed, but I'll keep thinking about it, and please don't hesitate to pitch in with your thoughts! Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 16:39, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
@Nettrom: I can say more about the problem but I am not sure how to proceed. One issue which has been challenging to address is how to sort the breaking of big topics, like medicine, into subtopics. The infrastructure currently used in Wikipedia is to name "task forces" as sub-WikiProjects in WikiProject talk page templates. For medicine, a list of task forces is at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine/Task_forces#List_of_WikiProject_Medicine_task_forces. As you say, there are some concepts which get tagged as "low importance" in the main category but are still very important from a subcategory's perspective, like for example da Vinci or the Affordable Care Act. Those might be high importance in the "Medicine - Society and Culture" task force. Other major concepts in medicine, like anything to do with pharmacy, might also be low ranking in medicine but high ranking in pharmacy, which also makes for a confusing separation. For any given WikiProject there could be lots of distinctions and on the back end of things there is no sorting mechanism. Also - just because things are the way they are, I am not convinced that this is the way people want things to be. If there were options for more granularity in sorting and ranking articles, then I think that more people could make more useful subcategorizations. However, I also think that a conflicting motivation is that lots of people wish to avoid creating intersections of categories, and instead I think there is demand for having an automated tool that combines two categories. Like for example, instead there being a "medicine - society and culture" project, I think there should be a "medicine" tag and a "society and culture" tag, with the option for a person to combine them. No want wants for their to be a subproject for "Medicine - United States", "Medicine - anatomy", "Medicine - history", and yet with the current system setting up these kinds of single-use intersections is the only way possible for generating lists of articles categorized within a specific scope. A consequence of this is, for example, that WikiProject Medicine has never had any significant participation by anyone developing articles on the culture of medicine, which I think is more a consequence of the design of the current system than what the community here intends. Lots of people could be interested in low-priority articles if only they could be tagged as important for a certain purpose. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:59, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Thought I'd also follow up here and mention that I went through this work list of articles that I mentioned above. The list contains articles that might be about individuals and not rated Low-importance. All those that are about individuals had their rating updated to Low-importance. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 16:39, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
User:Nettrom If only the items in that list were clickable and I would fix them. Can you make them clickable? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:44, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi again everyone! First off, thanks for the helpful feedback I got earlier! In the time since I was last active in this discussion, I have been working on identifying the various categories of articles within the scope of WikiProject Medicine that ought to be Low-importance (e.g. individuals and scientific journals). Knowing those categories we can filter those articles out, which then allows us to build a model on the articles we're more interested in.

I wrote a program that uses Wikidata to discover which categories contains at least three articles, of which a majority of them are Low-importance. You can find the the entire list in my log on meta, if you're curious. Using that list of categories, I then identified all articles in my WikiProject Medicine dataset that are in these categories but not rated as Low-importance. There were only 126 such articles, and I created a table of them here: User:SuggestBot/Suggestions for WikiProject Medicine

I'm unsure whether I've identified good categories of articles that should be Low-importance, and would be happy to correct any mistaken ones. Once I know the list is good, I'll be able to generate some (hopefully) more interesting lists of candidate articles for importance reassessment. Thanks again for the feedback and interest in this project! Pinging WhatamIdoing, Blue Rasberry , and Doc James as well. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 17:09, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Looking at most of those and they should be recategorized as low importance IMO. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:15, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
|importance=Low and |society=yes for most of them. In practice, |society= is a way to find things that ought to be |importance=Low (but that's terribly WPMED-specific when you're building a general tool). WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:29, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I was going the way through Wikidata as that should allows us to do this in general for any other WikiProject where it's relevant, and we should also be able to identify larger categories (e.g. "scientific journal" and "book" are both subclasses of "publication"). I am not certain it will solve the issue of overlap between WikiProjects and/or task forces, but it might help us enough to get useful results.
Please do let me know if there are issues with the list I have. I noticed for instance that the CDC is on there because it's a government agency, but its High-importance rating seems reasonable to me given its relevance to medicine. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 16:46, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi again everyone! Over the past week, I've worked on further improving our model and now have a dataset of predictions to share with you. I gathered about one hundred articles where the model predicts an importance rating that is different from what it currently has. Would love to know more about how well we're doing, both in terms of whether our predictions are accurate, and if they are useful. If the prediction for a specific article seems off, please do let me know and I'll look up the statistics. And please let me know if you have questions about any of this, I'd be happy to help! You can find the list of articles as the first table on this page: User:SuggestBot/Suggestions for WikiProject Medicine

Also: pinging Aaron since he requested it. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 20:52, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Albinism is uncommon. Melanin is not terribly important when it comes to medicine. Not sure why strychnine is suggested for top? Hormone would be top importance for WP:MCB but not really use. TCM would be top for altmed but not use.
Changed breastfeeding to top. Yellow fever is rare in most of the world. As is typhoid fever and cholera. Hurler syndrome affects 1 in 100,000 people thus not of high importance. Vasodilation is not a disease. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:43, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Percentiles for inlinks and average article views
Thanks for the feedback, Doc James, I greatly appreciate it! Based on your comments, I think it's clear that we're seeing a difference between how WikiProject Medicine prioritizes topics, and the extent to which readers are accessing these pages and how many other pages link to them. It is most likely also partly a result of the low number and homogeneity of Top-importance articles in WP:MED when it comes to the two main predictors we use (percentile of views and inlinks), ref the scatterplots on the right. All of the articles with Top-importance predictions you mention have a relatively high number of views, the lowest is Vasodilation with 961 views/day (over the past four weeks) which puts it in the 94th percentile. When it comes to inlinks, the lowest is Melanin with 804, putting it in the 97th percentile. Strychnine has 1,326 views/day (96th percentile) and 960 inlinks (97th percentile). Hurler syndrome is lower in both measures, 410 views/day (87th percentile) and 66 inlinks (61st percentile), which our model then predicts as High-importance.
Another interpretation is that this is challenging because of the wide variety of these measurements for Low- and Mid-importance articles. As the graph shows, these span the complete range. If Low- and Mid-importance articles were less likely to have a high number of views and/or inlinks, the boundaries for the importance ratings would be clearer, and the model would behave accordingly. While the main goal of this research is to build accurate models, I think we're also seeing some of the limitations of the underlying data.
Pinging Blue Rasberry and WhatamIdoing as well, since we've all been discussing this. Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 17:15, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Remember how we describe articles of top importance is "Subject is extremely important, even crucial, to medicine. Strong interest from non-professionals around the world. Usually a large subject with many associated sub-articles. Less than 1% of medicine-related articles achieve this rating." The bit in bold is key. Diseases that affect a few people or are only common in a few areas is not sufficient. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:23, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Nettrom, have you talked to User:Walkerma about this project? He knows a lot about the 1.0 assessment system, and is probably your best contact for finding good general ratings (i.e., things not specific to my friends at WP:MED). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:01, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Ah no, I have not gotten in touch with them, but that is a great idea, thanks for bringing their name up! Cheers, Nettrom (talk) 21:02, 27 April 2017 (UTC)


I think that we need to define clearly whether drug related articles (belonging to WikiProject Pharmacology) should be tagged under WP:MED as well, and if so, in which specific cases. Clinical parameters like Medical uses, Contraindications, Adverse effects, Drug interactions or Mechanism of action are parameters that are supposed to be a part of practically any drug related article. But does that warrant an inclusion under WP:MED as well? I do not think so while Doc James would like to differ. I would like to know what others have to say in this regard. In any case, it should be clearly defined and added to the guidelines. DiptanshuTalk 18:10, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

I do not have a strong position one way or the other. Our guideline[2] says include them so I do. We should only include medications that have been once used in clinical practice if we include them. Should not include chemicals that have never been used clinically. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:16, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Since we include other treatments such as surgery within WPMED we may as well keep including medications. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:20, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I think that since we do not have WikiProject Surgery, we include surgical topics under WikiProject Medicine. Had WikiProject Surgery existed, possibly we would not have also tagged them under WikiProject Medicine.
I think that the guidelines can be defined. We can include a field medicine=yes under WikiProject Pharmacology. Rather than including the yes as norm (since drugs are essentially meant to be for medical use), it would perhaps be more meaningful to add medicine=no for ones that need to be transcluded from the list of medicines. This would bring a greater portion of WikiProject Pharmacology under the purview of WikiProject Medicine.
We can additionally introduce fields like company and alike under WikiProject Pharmacology. DiptanshuTalk 18:48, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't feel like you understand this system. No articles are under any group's purview. WikiProjects don't own articles.
The only thing that a WikiProject gets to do is to make a list of which articles they want to work on. The method of making the list (for historical reasons) is to add a template to the article's talk page. The group at WPMED has always wanted to work on articles about medical treatments (surgery, medications, and otherwise). Therefore, all such articles have always been put on the WPMED list. The group doesn't want to work on hospitals, so we don't put those on our list. The fact that there are two other groups interested in improving articles about hospitals is irrelevant: we don't want to be bothered with them, so we aren't.
There is absolutely nothing about WPMED making its list that interferes with any other group making its own list. WPMED's interest (or lack thereof) in an article does not change which content or style guidelines apply to the article's contents; it does not change what the article says (or should say); it does not change who gets to edit it or what they can put in the article. WPPHARM should make its own list without noticing or caring what any other groups put on their lists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── For organizational purposes, I think it would be better to only list them under pharmacology, I don't see any benefit from tagging them under both projects. --WS (talk) 03:29, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

What exactly are you trying to organize?
A WikiProject's list of pages that they want to work on is not a substitute for properly categorizing articles. If the folks at WPMED want to work on these articles – or if they want to work on Photoshop or iPhone or anything else – then they should tag them. It doesn't actually matter whether any other group wants to work on them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:43, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: I get your point and understand it. The way I see it is that WikiProjects organize articles the participants are likely to be willing to work on. In my view it does form a broad categorization. But at the same time, possibly there is no reason to group articles in two places.
I was trying to look up and develop some articles related to physicians today. I found that there are a significant number of them tagged under WPMED and a significant number of others that merely have a WP:Biography tag with or without s&a workgroup allocated to them. I found that rather attaching Category:xth century physician to them serves a better purpose of helping the interested users to find the articles.
In a nutshell, I see WikiProjects as a the broadest levels of categorization in a subject. There is no reason to make the categorizations overlapping. Not that the borders need to be crisp but discrete categorization helps.
At least that is what I feel. Diptanshu 💬 15:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
  • WikiProject tagging cannot help readers, because almost no readers look at talk pages. About 45% of the English Wikipedia's readers are using the mobile website (including some readers who are on desktop computers). The most popular article for WPMED, for example, is averaging 4300 page views per day, and just two (2) page views for the talk page.
  • The only way to get non-overlapping categorization is to tell groups of editors that they may not share interests. This is not fair or reasonable to editors.
  • Discrete, non-overlapping categorization will produce stupid results in the case of cross-disciplinary subjects, e.g., military medicine (is that MILHIST or WPMED? Your proposed system only permits one) or history of medicine (is that WPMED or WPHIST?).
  • WikiProject tagging (as you discovered) is almost always incomplete. There are also a huge number of articles that aren't tagged for any WikiProject.
In short, it doesn't work that way, and it won't work that way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:58, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
The tagging is intended to help in the collaborative work. Since Wikipedia is not the result of work of one individual, there are always going to be things that are yet to be done. Users who see a gap add tags so that other users can take it up from there. The scope of interest of editors is not limited by WikiProjects. I myself edit pages for a varied number of topics. I understand your point and have no intention to argue. I just want to say that unnecessary overlap is pointless. The scope of military history and medicine are significantly different but that is not the case with pharmacology and medicine. Users of WPMED essentially know what they would find in WP:Pharmacology. There is no component of surprise in it. They even know which categories to look into if they are to find and edit a particular topic. So, I doubt if overlap in pharmacology articles really makes sense. Diptanshu 💬 18:20, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
As I think about this I think keeping medications within WPMED is a good idea. Stuff that is not a medication in use yet should not be part of WPMED. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:23, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
James: Would you kindly let me know what sort of topics (articles other than that of people or companies) do you suppose WP:Pharmacology contains that are not medicinal in nature? Well you could argue that topics related to pharmacodynamics and phamacokinetics are unnecessary for us. But I believe most of pharmacological agents are used as medicines and hence are under purview of WP:MED. Would it not be an unnecessary double labelling? Diptanshu 💬 13:35, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
WPPHARM contains a lot of early research chemicals that are not yet medications. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:18, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
Well in that case don't you think that punching these into a category and transcluding it should suffice to include the whole of WP:Pharmacology under the purview of WP:Medicine? Diptanshu 💬 16:26, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:08, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
If we add a category like Category:early research chemicals to the articles (similarly for companies, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics etc. stuff which too can be grouped under similar categories) and treat that as a zone that we (from WP:MED) are not interested in, that should suffice to include whole of WP:Pharmacology under the purview of WP:Medicine. What do you say? Diptanshu 💬 18:14, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
We achieve the same thing by what we do now. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:04, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
You are mandating an unnecessary overlap of both the WikiProjects for major part of WP:Pharmacology barring the few categories of transclusion. Diptanshu 💬 19:08, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The current state was not my doing. I am simply okay with the status quo. I am not barring a change but you do need to get consensus. I am not entirely clear on how your suggestion would work but it looks like it would take massive amount of work to carry out.

There is nothing wrong with overlap. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:26, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

My suggestion intended to avoid unnecessary work. Most of the categories should be already in place, and if not, they need to be placed anyway. Most of the drugs are tagged with WP:Pharmacology and not WP:MED. The existing overlap is only in a minority of the pages. My suggestion keeps it in consideration and avoids the unnecessary overwork of adding WP:MED to medicine (drug) related pages. Diptanshu 💬 02:55, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I strongly agree that drugs should be tagged with the med wikiproject. Many pages are in multiple wikiprojects so not an issue at all. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
It might be worth noting that the Category:WikiProject Pharmacology articles has 10,721 articles and Category:All WikiProject Medicine articles has 34,475 articles. and 2002 articles are tagged in both categories. Diptanshu 💬 14:20, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
I feel that there is a strong reason to define guidelines about co-tagging of articles under WP:MED and WP:Pharmacology. Some people like to think that drugs that are in pre-clinical stage are not being tagged under WP:MED. Let me mention that ERA-45, ERA-63 , ERB-26, ERB-79 etc. are some articles that are tagged under WP:MED in spite of the molecules being in pre-clinical trial stage. In other words, the domains remain stupidly vague and overlapping for no reason. I have already pointed out that the number of articles tagged with both are relatively few in comparison to the ones tagged only with WP:Pharmacology. Diptanshu 💬 11:56, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Have removed those four. Yes the guidelines are not consistently applied. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:19, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
James: Removal of a few identified pages is not the issue. Even I could have done it. The number of (articles on) experimental drugs or (articles on) those in pre-clinical stage is relatively few. Barring those few (and a few others like pharma companies, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics stuff) there is prospect of overlap of basically the entire WP:Pharmacology with WP:Medicine. On the other hand, the number of articles actually tagged under both is relatively less. So, why do we not define a guideline that articles tagged under WP:Pharmacology need not be separately tagged with WP:Medicine? If that happens, WPMED users who want to edit pharmacology articles can easily avoid the nominal stuff that they themselves are not interested in. Diptanshu 💬 19:07, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I do not support such a change. I am not sure what the benefit? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:15, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Just to add: Category:Abandoned drugs is for drugs that never made it to market, and Category:Withdrawn drugs is for drugs taken off the market, after they reached the market. I have found a huge number of articles that should have been tagged with one of the two categories but have not been. I am in the process of tagging them. I also found that many of those articles were tagged with WP:MED. I am working to remove those. I hope that transcluding these two categories the entire segment under WP:Pharmacology would be of interest to people interested in WP:Medicine. Diptanshu 💬 06:38, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:29, 21 June 2017 (UTC)