July 24, 2024


Health is important

In a bid to improve accuracy, U of T students give Wikipedia’s dental and oral health content a checkup

A lot of college students use Wikipedia as a resource of information and facts several moments a 7 days, if not every day. But what happens when that details lacks precision and correct citations?

It’s a issue the Wikipedia Collaboration of Dental Faculties (WCODS) aims to handle in the dentistry field.

Linnaea Halpert, a University of Toronto scholar who is graduating in June with her health practitioner of dental operation diploma, is the president of the College of Dentistry’s WCODS club. The club was started out three many years in the past with the support of Affiliate Professor Hashim Nainar and Helen He, the head of the Faculty of Dentistry’s library.

“Wikipedia is the 1st position of entry for client and scholar concerns,” suggests Halpert. “WCODS is a local community of dental students and dentists who monitor dental and oral health-relevant information on Wikipedia and hold the info up to date.”

WCODS was started off by Dr. Nour Geres at Dundee University in the U.K. and now has chapters all about the environment, which include the one particular at U of T. At the starting of each and every yr, just about every chapter is assigned a subject matter of target with certain Wikipedia article content to work on to guarantee that there is no overlap in modifying endeavours amongst different chapters. Considering that Wikipedia utilizes open collaboration, just one of the issues is that editing perform can be undone. Halpert claims each chapter hence displays the webpages following they have been current to assure precision. 

Halpert grew to become intrigued in WCODS when she was performing at Princess Margaret Clinic alongside another person who went to dental faculty in the U.K. 

“I know I have been explained to that Wikipedia isn’t a credible resource and we should not use it, but I also know it’s a site several of my classmates go to for a last-minute examine,” she states. “So, I imagined if so numerous of us are utilizing it in any case, why not try to make it as excellent as it quite possibly can be.”

She notes that Wikipedia is also used by patients and other dentists, earning it even far more vital that everyone is accessing the same exact details.

The WCODS club prior to the pandemic. From remaining to ideal: Bronte Murcar-Evans, Linnaea Halpert, Noah Gasner and Joshua Tordjman (image by Adam Tepperman)

Halpert claims WCODS is also an opportunity for students at the School of Dentistry to be part of a local community of college students and dentists close to the globe.

“Joining the WCODS club presents college students terrific networking possibilities, the opportunity to bridge the gap in between dentists and clients, and enables them to gain dentistry know-how and literature appraisal competencies,” she claims. “Being a section of WCODS also helps college students in their pre-scientific decades as a way to strengthen material on the internet so that when the client sits in their chair, they can support additional bridge that understanding hole.”

Halpert encourages all students and faculty to get included in the club. 

“We would enjoy to have more college users concerned so we can even further expand the scope of the subjects we edit and make a lot more accurate.”