Wikipedia is accessed by hundreds of millions around the world and that makes Wikipedia one of the most powerful platforms for the dissemination of science information. While Wikipedia offers high-quality content about certain topics, a large proportion of articles are insufficiently developed. The Wikimedia Foundation has engaged in partnerships with scientific and academic institutions to improve the coverage and communication of science to the public. These efforts are beneficial to professional and academic associations interested in sharing reliable, vetted information about their discipline with the world.Methods
The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is one of the research agencies engaged in this effort. NIOSH developed and manages the WikiProject Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH also participates in a classroom program (where students write Wikipedia articles) to expand and improve Wikipedia’s content on public and occupational health. The evaluation of their efforts is conducted using an Altmetrics platform that tracks alternative metrics for information products located on the web that have a persistent tracking number, such as an ISBN or DOI.Result
Metrics on these efforts are publicly available thru Wikipedia, the Wiki Education Foundation and Altmetric so reach can be evaluated continuously by the number of views and quality of entries.Discussion
Several mechanisms exists to motivate researchers to get involved and to evaluate the impact of the efforts in Wikipedia. Throughout these initiatives, new scientific content related to acoustics was successfully added to Wikipedia, and the quality of the entries were improved.