Students, Research, and Wikipedia

As mentioned in Stephen's Lighthouse, there's an interesting article on student use of wikipedia in the latest issue of First Monday. 

Figure 2: Why do students use Wikipedia for course–related research?
Of the paper's conclusions, this was the one that caught mine eye:



Overall, college students use Wikipedia. But, they do so knowing its limitation. They use Wikipedia just as most of us do — because it is a quick way to get started and it has some, but not deep, credibility.


Which affirms my mostly unsubstantiated belief that the populations I work with most frequently (grad students) both a) understand the limitations of Wikipedia and b) continue to use it during their medical education.*  I don't necessarily see this as a problem as long as they understand how the information they find in Wikipedia compares to the information they find in an evidence-based resource.  In fact, for what it's worth, using Wikipedia as a comparison to, say, Cochrane would probably help highlight and clarify some of the key characteristics of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based resources.


*  The paper deals exclusively with an undergraduate population, so my unsubstantiated belief remains unsubstantiated.


The Future of Publishing

Great style.


Nice Google Settlement Chart

From the Library Copyright Alliance.  Click the image for the pdf.


MLA '09 cont...

Way back in May '09, at MLA '09, in Hawaii, I presented a colleague's health literacy paper.  Here it is:



A Day in the Life - Friday

  • Co-taught a 2-hour session to first year dentistry students.  Content = Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed and PICO searching.
  • Attended a great presentation on academic article introductions.  The presenter was tremendously engaging. 
  • Edited the final article discovery report.  The project began in September.  We met every Thursday after that.  Now we're done.  It was enjoyable and I'm happy with our recommendation.
  • Pursued an email question about accessing a non-UM thesis, which the other institution won't lend because it's their lone copy.  We're working on a work-around.
  • Discussed a systematic review search with surgery faculty.  It'll be a short turnaround.  
  • Set a date to record the lectures for the first year Pharmacy course (Feb 10). 
  • Had a meeting with a Dentistry faculty pushed back until next week. 

And if Chekov were alive he'd be 150.  The Guardian's nice write up.