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More than 2 billion pairs of eyeballs: Why aren’t you sharing medical knowledge on Wikipedia?
  1. Heather Murray
  1. Departments of Emergency Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Heather Murray, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, K7L 3Y9, Canada; heather.murray{at}

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Wikipedia is the largest knowledge dissemination platform in the world. The English-language medical pages registered more than 2.4 billion visits in 2017, eclipsing websites like those of WHO, the NHS and WebMD.1 The lay language focus of the site obviously attracts patients, but surveys show that medical trainees at all levels report regular use.2 3 Health professionals also regularly visit Wikipedia, once referred to as a ‘guilty secret’ of doctors and academics.4 The first step in knowledge translation is to put information where the people who want it can access it. Your patients are reading Wikipedia and your students are studying with Wikipedia. You have used it too, although you might not admit it in a crowd. And yet health researchers and policy-makers aren’t sharing their knowledge there. Instead, many reinvent the wheel: showcasing fancy, expensive new websites running parallel to the world’s most frequently used medical information resource.

Wikipedia disrupted the process of knowledge sharing through its philosophy of crowd-sourced …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.