Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia

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Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia
Authors: Kevin A. Clauson, Hyla H. Polen, Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Joan H. Dzenowagis [edit item]
Citation: The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 42 (12): 1814-1821. 2008 December.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Added on initial load
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Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia is a publication by Kevin A. Clauson, Hyla H. Polen, Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Joan H. Dzenowagis.


[edit] Abstract

BACKGROUND: With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, user-edited online resources such as Wikipedia are increasingly tapped for information. However, there is little research on the quality of health information found in Wikipedia. OBJECTIVE: To compare the scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia with that of a free, online, traditionally edited database (Medscape Drug Reference [MDR]). METHODS: Wikipedia and MDR were assessed on 8 categories of drug information. Questions were constructed and answers were verified with authoritative resources. Wikipedia and MDR were evaluated according to scope (breadth of coverage) and completeness. Accuracy was tracked by factual errors and errors of omission. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the components. Fisher's exact test was used to compare scope and paired Student's t-test was used to compare current results in Wikipedia with entries 90 days prior to the current access. RESULTS: Wikipedia was able to answer significantly fewer drug information questions (40.0%) compared with MDR (82.5%; p < 0.001). Wikipedia performed poorly regarding information on dosing, with a score of 0% versus the MDR score of 90.0%. Answers found in Wikipedia were 76.0% complete, while MDR provided answers that were 95.5% complete; overall, Wikipedia answers were less complete than those in Medscape (p < 0.001). No factual errors were found in Wikipedia, whereas 4 answers in Medscape conflicted with the answer key; errors of omission were higher in Wikipedia (n = 48) than in MDR (n = 14). There was a marked improvement in Wikipedia over time, as current entries were superior to those 90 days prior (p = 0.024).CONCLUSIONS: Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information.

[edit] Research questions

"To compare the scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia with that of a free, online, traditionally edited database (Medscape Drug Reference [MDR])."

Research details

Topics: Comprehensiveness, Currency, Reliability [edit item]
Domains: Health [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Statistical analysis [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Website [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia language: English [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information."

[edit] Comments

"Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information."


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia"RDF feed
AbstractBACKGROUND: With the advent of Web 2.0 tecBACKGROUND: With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, user-edited online resources such as Wikipedia are increasingly tapped for information. However, there is little research on the quality of health information found in Wikipedia. OBJECTIVE: To compare the scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia with that of a free, online, traditionally edited database (Medscape Drug Reference [MDR]). METHODS: Wikipedia and MDR were assessed on 8 categories of drug information. Questions were constructed and answers were verified with authoritative resources. Wikipedia and MDR were evaluated according to scope (breadth of coverage) and completeness. Accuracy was tracked by factual errors and errors of omission. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the components. Fisher's exact test was used to compare scope and paired Student's t-test was used to compare current results in Wikipedia with entries 90 days prior to the current access. RESULTS: Wikipedia was able to answer significantly fewer drug information questions (40.0%) compared with MDR (82.5%; p < 0.001). Wikipedia performed poorly regarding information on dosing, with a score of 0% versus the MDR score of 90.0%. Answers found in Wikipedia were 76.0% complete, while MDR provided answers that were 95.5% complete; overall, Wikipedia answers were less complete than those in Medscape (p < 0.001). No factual errors were found in Wikipedia, whereas 4 answers in Medscape conflicted with the answer key; errors of omission were higher in Wikipedia (n = 48) than in MDR (n = 14). There was a marked improvement in Wikipedia over time, as current entries were superior to those 90 days prior (p = 0.024).CONCLUSIONS: Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information.a supplemental source of drug information.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionCross-sectional +
CommentsWikipedia has a more narrow scope, is lessWikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information.a supplemental source of drug information.
ConclusionWikipedia has a more narrow scope, is lessWikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission than the comparator database. Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers, but is not authoritative and should only be a supplemental source of drug information.a supplemental source of drug information.
Data sourceWikipedia pages +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Scope%2C%2Bcompleteness%2C%2Band%2Baccuracy%2Bof%2Bdrug%2Binformation%2Bin%2BWikipedia%22 +
Has authorKevin A. Clauson +, Hyla H. Polen +, Maged N. Kamel Boulos + and Joan H. Dzenowagis +
Has domainHealth +
Has topicComprehensiveness +, Currency + and Reliability +
Issue12 +
MonthDecember +
Pages1814-1821 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inThe Annals of Pharmacotherapy +
Research designStatistical analysis +
Research questionsTo compare the scope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia with that of a free, online, traditionally edited database (Medscape Drug Reference [MDR]).
Revid10,936 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleScope, completeness, and accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia
Unit of analysisWebsite +
Urlhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19017825 +
Volume42 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageEnglish +
Wikipedia page typeArticle +
Year2008 +