2023:Program/Submissions/Quality of Male and Female Medical Content on English-Language Wikipedia - CZVMKW

From Wikimania

Title: Quality of Male and Female Medical Content on English-Language Wikipedia


James Heilman

James Heilman is an ER physician and long time Wikipedian. He is a founder and the current chair of Wiki Project Med Foundation.

Nuša Farič (Hydra_Rain)

Nuša: Nuša is a Wikipedian and a university researcher working at the University of Edinburgh in the Usher Institute. She studied Health Psychology (Masters) and Healthy Psychology and Informatics (PhD) both at the University College London (UCL) where she worked until 2022. Her research covers topics such as access to health information, medical AI, and women's health. She teaches 'Ethical and social aspects in medicine' to first year Medicine students at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently working within the EPaS (Edinburgh Palliative and Supportive Care group) in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. Nuša is an advocate for improvement of Wikipedia's health-related content. James: James M. Heilman is an emergency physician, Wikipedian, and advocate for the improvement of Wikipedia's health-related content. He encourages other clinicians to contribute to the online encyclopedia. With the Wikipedia username Doc James, Heilman is an active contributor to WikiProject Medicine and a volunteer Wikipedia administrator. He was the president of Wikimedia Canada between 2010 and 2013, and founded and was formerly the president of Wiki Project Med Foundation. He is also the founder of WikiProject Medicine's Medicine Translation Task Force. Heilman is a clinical assistant professor at the department of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia and the head of the department of emergency medicine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook, British Columbia.

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Start time:

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Type: Lightning talk

Track: Research, Science, and Medicine

Submission state: submitted

Duration: 15 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

Introduction: Wikipedia (WP) is the largest online free encyclopedia and 7th most visited website in the world. It contains over 45,000 freely accessible English medical articles accessed nearly 1.6 billion times per year. Concerns have been expressed about the gender balance of content on WP. Aims: The aims were to: 1) identify female, male, and not sex specific top 1,000 health articles on English WP; 2) assess quality of these articles on English WP. Method: Firstly, a list of the 1,000 most read WP medical articles for the month of June 2019 was identified using ‘WikiProject Medicine Popular pages’ and analyzed on 13 factors including total views, article quality and total number of references. Secondly, two general medical textbooks were used as comparators to assess whether WP’s spread was typical in comparison to the general medical textbooks. We proposed a criteria with five categories for sex specific health articles: 1 - ‘exclusively female’, 2 - ‘predominantly female but can also affect males’, 3 - ‘not sex specific/neutral’, 4 - ‘predominantly male but can affect females’ and 5 - ‘exclusively male’. Results: Of the 1,000 most read WP medical articles, 933/1,000 (93.3%) were ‘not sex specific’ and 67/1000 (6.7%) were sex-specific. The number of reads per month showed no statistically significant difference between the types of articles. Coverage of female topics was higher (4.7%) than male topics (1.5%) which was proportional to the two medical textbooks where 91.1% of content was rated as ‘not sex specific’, female topics (7.8%), and male topics (1.8%) (no statistically significant difference (Fisher extract P=.081). Female category articles were ranked higher on the WP medical topic importance list (top, high or mid importance) compared with male category articles (borderline for statistical significance, Fisher extract P=.05). Female articles had a higher number of total and unique references, a slightly higher number of page watchers and pictures, but slightly lower number of edits compared with male articles (all these were statistically non-significant). Discussion: Across a number of metrics, the quality of WP’s health related articles for both sexes was comparable. The higher ‘exclusively female’ coverage compared to ‘exclusively male’ health articles in WP articles and in the two medical textbooks can be explained by the inclusion of sections on obstetrics and gynecology (e.g, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause), which are much more vast than health topics concerning the male reproductive system. The spread of WP articles may also reflect the readership and the needs of the population. Conclusion: This study has highlighted the complexity of health information needs pertaining to sexes. This is unlike the imbalance seen among biographies of living people, of which about 75% pertain to males (Wikipedia, 2023).

Description[edit source]

This session would include a presentation by MD James Heilman (Doc James: Canada) and Dr Nuša Farič (Hydra_Rain: Scotland - UK) about the study conducted between 2019 and 2023 by four researchers (all Wikipedians) examining the quality of male and female health-related content on English-Language Wikipedia. The authors would like to offer interesting and enlightening insights pertaining to the study results. Additionally, the authors would display a poster in the poster session for those who may not be able to attend the talk, but would like more information on the study. Note that the study has been submitted to an open-access journal JMIR for publication and may be available for a download at the time of Wikimania conference.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

This session will highlight diversity and encourage collaboration for future generations. No matter how much Wikipedia grows, it can always grow more. The session will highlight that there are differences in the coverage of male and female medical content on English Wikipedia, but in recognition that there is no disparity between general medical textbook coverage and WP, highlighting as well as recognizing the diverse needs for information for different people. The insights of this session will drive future collaborations to improve particular spheres of medical and health related content on Wikipedia.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Tick Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand