One Librarian, One Reference

Wikipedian Lane Rasberry presents some background on Wikipedia

On June 7th, 2017, Touro College librarians gathered at the Midtown campus for a Wikipedia editing event facilitated by Lane Rasberry, Wikipedian-in-Residence at Consumer Reports. Lane has visited the Touro Campus several times before for student events, but this was the first time that our librarians would be loosed on Wikipedia’s entries. If you thought Wikipedia and librarians (always carrying on about scholarly sources this and databases that) don’t mix, you’d be surprised! The model Wikipedia article is based on authoritative, often scholarly, information sources, and each fact included in an entry should be supported with an appropriate citation. In fact, the criteria for becoming a “Featured Article” on Wikipedia sound a lot like a good literature review: well-written, comprehensive, well-researched, and neutral.

Read on to hear about Touro librarians’ experiences editing Wikipedia in their own words: Continue reading

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Touro PT Students Share Health Information Worldwide in Wikipedia Editathon

This real time counter logs each edit to Wikipedia, including those by our own PT students

Drs. Shira Wiener and Yocheved Bensinger-Brody hosted their second Wikipedia Editathon for their Doctor of Physical Therapy Program students of class 2019 on April 4th.  Like last year, in this three-hour long session, Lane Rasberry, the Wikipedian-in-Residence first briefly explained the nature of Wikipedia as a free encyclopedia that can be edited by anybody. At the same time, he clarified, Wikipedia is not a chaotic space and once an article is written or edited, its dedicated volunteer editors will check on the accuracy of any new information that has been added to Wikipedia. This is how Wikipedia controls its quality, he said. Continue reading

Wikipedia Editathon: Touro PT Students Share Health Information Worldwide

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DPT students hard at work contributing to Wikipedia articles

On March 29th, members of the Touro’s Physical Therapy department arranged a three hour hands-on “editathon” for their students with Lane Rasberry, the Wikipedian-in-Residence at Consumer Reports. Lane has visited Touro before, speaking about Wikipedia to Library staff at the semi-annual staff meeting in January. For this workshop, he started out by giving us a bit of Wikipedia’s history and background, but the main goal of the session was to contribute evidence-based and current health information to articles on Wikipedia. Continue reading

Drugs & Wikipedia: A Case for Caution

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(CC0 image via Wikimedia)

Yesterday I read a research report in the Journal of the Medical Library Association that reminded me to be cautious when using Wikipedia articles for health care information. The authors of the report are two Pharm D’s and a Pharm D candidate from Midwestern University in Chicago. They analyzed drug information on Wikipedia for 21 different medications and compared it to information from a subscription drug information database. Continue reading

Scandalous! Librarian Endorses Wikipedia!

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Photo by Carol Schapiro.

Wikipedia is the best thing since sliced bread.  There, I said it!  When it comes to giving you ready answers to pressing questions, like the names of all seven wives of King Henry VII, or all seven husbands of Elizabeth Taylor, Wikipedia is the bomb!

Librarians use it all the time, but they do it in private, like it’s a dirty little secret.  Just yesterday, I needed to know the Georgian surname of Joseph Stalin ( Jugashvili) before he changed his name to the Russian word meaning “man of steel”.  It was easy.  Thank you, Wikipedia! Continue reading