FAQs—Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information

WebJunction /

What is Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information?
What are the benefits of participating in the course?
When is the course?
Who is the course for?
What will the course cover?
How will participants learn?
What is the time commitment?
Will live online sessions be recorded?
What are the requirements for participation?
What will participants receive upon completion?
How do I enroll in the course?
Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the course?

What is Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information?

Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information is a free online course hosted by OCLC’s WebJunction and made possible thanks to sponsorship from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

What are the benefits of participating in the course?

The benefits of participating are to:

  • Deepen your own digital and critical thinking skills—and encourage your colleagues to do the same
  • Engage and empower your community members to build information literacy skills and to access authoritative information on health-related topics
  • Identify the reliable sources guidelines and article standards for health-related content to successfully evaluate health and medical articles; understand the significance of different types of Wikipedia references.

When is the course?

The course begins October 8, 2019 and runs through November 1, 2019, with live online sessions hosted on October 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 3:00-4:00 ET.

Who is the course for?

Anyone who works or volunteers in a US public library who wishes to expand their skills in using and evaluating medical information and resources found in Wikipedia articles.

What will the course cover?

This course will cover:

  • The inner workings of Wikipedia, how the online encyclopedia is built by volunteer editors, how libraries are involved, and why this matters for health and medical information
  • The Five Pillars, or fundamental principles of Wikipedia that guide editor participation, and Conflicts of Interest
  • Wikipedia health and medicine article standards (WP:MEDRS) and reference criteria in order to evaluate reliability and use references to access additional authoritative information
  • WikiProject Medicine, an organization of volunteers dedicated to developing, maintaining, and promoting accurate medical information on Wikipedia.
  • Getting started with editing Wikipedia references and links.

How will participants learn?

  • By participating in weekly hour-long, interactive live online class sessions
  • Through assigned readings and videos
  • By completing weeks assignments
  • By sharing their learning with a peer community of public library staff through online discussion forums.

What is the time commitment?

We anticipate a total time commitment of 12 hours over four weeks. This will include four live online sessions (60 minutes each) and independent readings, online discussion forums, and activities between sessions.

Will live online sessions be recorded?

Yes, live online sessions will be recorded and made available by the next day to participants. However, live participation will be encouraged to the fullest extent possible.

What are the requirements for participation?

Participants are expected to have:

  • Regular access to an Internet-connected computer or laptop, with audio or telephone
  • The capacity to attend the four live online sessions to the fullest extent possible; or commitment to view the session recordings
  • Completion of between-session assignments; engagement in the online community
  • A willingness to learn and motivation to apply what they’ve learned!

What will participants receive upon completion?

Following the conclusion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion for 12 NNLM continuing education credits if they have met these requirements:

  • Attended (or viewed) all four live sessions and
  • Completed all course assignments and activities and
  • Reported back on assignments and discussed learnings via online discussion forums.

How do I enroll in the course?

Enrollment is now open! Enrollment is limited to 100 public library staff.

Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the course?

Yes! While each staff member will still need to enroll as an individual participant in the course, we encourage library colleagues to participate in the course together. There are many benefits to training with colleagues. It provides more opportunities to reinforce each staff member’s learning; activities naturally lend themselves to working together with colleagues.

The FAQs will be updated as new questions come up. If you have a question you don't see here, please contact Dale Musselman.

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