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The Wikipedia collaboration of dental schools

Students from Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Manchester dental schools at the first Wikipedia Collaboration event.

Over a year ago, the Wikipedia Editing Project was launched by Dundee Dental School, situated in Scotland, United Kingdom (UK). This student-led project is aimed at improving dental content on Wikipedia. Students were first made aware of the deficiency and inaccuracy of dental articles on the website by the Cochrane Collaboration. This did not come as a surprise to most students. They knew Wikipedia was not the most helpful when looking up course material. For example, the denture impression page completely lacked citations until the first was added by one of our editors.  The state of dental articles was especially disappointing when contrasted with medical articles. Medical pages were and continue to be accurate and up-to-date thanks to the contributions of active medical editors. To improve the quality of dental information on Wikipedia,  Dundee Dental School established the Editing Group.  It is the first organized, active and continuously running dental editing group.

Dental students and trainees were first recruited at an introductory event. The lecture content focused on the need for citation of systematic reviews and randomized control trials. This was followed by a tutorial on how to properly edit and interact with other users. Students who joined the Editing Project were broken into groups. Each group was assigned topics to develop on the site. At the end of the semester, groups presented their accomplishments. The presentations gave students the opportunity to showcase their work, share challenges they overcame and promote the Project.

At Dundee, we are proud of our editors. They have taken the lead in improving access to high-quality dental information.  This is beneficial to patients, dental professionals and students alike. In addition, it addressed inequalities in access to information since Wikipedia is widely viewed from across the world. The dedication of the committee and Editing Groups has allowed us to expand to include more schools. February 2017 marked the initiation of the Wikipedia Collaboration of Dental Schools. The collaboration includes Glasgow, Aberdeen and Manchester Dental Schools in the UK. Additionally, the collaboration includes Tufts, Harvard and New York University dental schools in the United States. All schools are actively assembling committees and undergoing training. Dundee Dental School is guiding the efforts in order to get the Editing Groups up and running for the start of the coming academic year.

We look forward to working together as a collective international community of dentists. We are excited about the growth of the project and the contributions from dental schools across the globe. Our aim for the coming year is to work with schools and expand our operation. An expansion is required to achieve our overarching goal of presenting accurate, current and evidence based information on Wikipedia.  We welcome any interested groups or individuals to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or through our Facebook page For more information about the Wikipedia Collaboration of Dental Schools, click here.

~Nour Geres, Dundee ’16

Nour Geres

Nour is a Canadian, born in Egypt. She moved to Canada with her family at the age of 9. In 2016, Nour earned her BDS from Dundee University in the UK. During the following year, she completed the British equivalent to a residency program in a general dentistry. Nour is the founder of the Wikipedia Editing Project and the coordinator of the Wikipedia Collaboration of Dental School. Once more she is moving back across the pond and looks forward to all the exciting opportunities the future holds.

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  1. Wikipedia is a drastic tool that helped me throughout school. I think what you are doing by creating, and allowing people to access more information on dentistry is going to greatly help every student from now, long into the future. There is a large need, and this is a brilliant idea; I look forward to seeing it play out in the future.

    1. Nour Geres says:

      Thank you for your support, Nason! We look forward to seeing the Project grow.

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