Elsevier, the Netherlands based publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products, has launched a medical information Wiki online, WiserWiki.

A Wiki is a web-based software that allows users to easily create, edit, and link web pages. WiserWiki will allow board-certified physicians to collaboratively contribute and update medical information online.

The site is open to the public, and contains content from The Textbook of Primary Care Medicine by Dr John Noble, an Elsevier publication, which is now out of print.

WiserWiki will contain in-depth information on a full-range of medical problems, conditions and diseases encountered in the practices of family physicians, general internists, medical and surgical subspecialists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Elsevier’s vice president for business development, Scott Virkler, said: “WiserWiki is another example of Elsevier’s commitment to developing innovative tools for medical professionals. With WiserWiki we’re providing a trusted forum for physicians to collaborate and contribute professional-level medical content that’s viewable by members of the public.”

WiserWiki is free to users, and contributors retain the copyright to information they contribute to the site, subject to usage rights provided to other users of the site.

In order to encourage open collaboration and the exchange of information, WiserWiki uses an ‘attribution share-alike’ license that allows contributors to build upon other authors’ works as long as they credit and license derivative works under the identical terms of its license.

Editorial privileges are restricted to board-certified professionals to ensure that information is as accurate and trustworthy as possible.

Doctors who are not board certified in the US can edit WiserWiki. However, Elsevier may contact them with a request for additional information to validate their status as physicians.

Members of the public may access information on the site however, they are informed that WiserWiki is intended primarily as an informational site for medical professionals.

Virkler added: “There’s a lot we can test and learn from WiserWiki. A majority of healthcare Wikis aren’t fully trusted by users, and attempts to create new Wiki communities are hindered by the inability to create a critical mass of information. We’re in the best position to provide a medical Wiki due to our expertise in the medical content, as well as our know-how in creating valuable tools for physicians.”

Dr Noble said: “As the use of online communities and the internet has increased the possibilities for, and benefits of, sharing medical information and best practices with other patients and physicians have grown enormously.

“WiserWiki provides exposure for physicians who wish to publish relevant, up-to-date and insightful medical content based on personal experience and expertise.”





Joe Fernandez