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Wikipedia, Should Pharma Edit?


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A presentation by Gary Monk, Director of Strategy & Innovation at HAVAS LYNX EU, on how pharma should approach editing Wikipedia for corporate, health and brand related pages. It outlines the pillars of Wikipedia and how to work with the Wikipedia community when making edits

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Wikipedia, Should Pharma Edit?

  1. 1. WIKIPEDIA Should Pharma Edit?
  2. 2. Introduction • The largest Encyclopedia in the world • Anyone who can access the site can edit it • From ‘Wiki’meaning quick in Hawaiian and “Pedia’from Encyclopedia
  3. 3. Definition ‘Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia that is supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation’
  4. 4. Some figures 30 million global articles articles in English 287 Languages 4.4 million unique visitors per month 500 million unique editors per month 300,000
  5. 5. Is it accurate? ‘A 2005 investigation in Nature showed that the 42 science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica’
  6. 6. The 5 Pillars of Wiipedia
  7. 7. The 5 Pillars of Wikipedia The fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates can be summarized in five "pillars”: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute Editors should treat each other with respect and civility Wikipedia does not have firm rules 1 2 3 4 5
  8. 8. 1. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia • Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not a dictionary, a newspaper, or a collection of source documents Do not write for specific audiences, e.g. patients or doctors
  9. 9. 2. Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view • All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong. Write so it's impossible to tell that someone who works for the company wrote it
  10. 10. 3. Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute • Since all editors freely license their work to the public, no editor owns an article and any contributions can and will be mercilessly edited and redistributed. Respect copyright laws, and never plagiarize from sources. Be careful what you share
  11. 11. 4. Editors should treat each other with respect and civility • Respect your fellow Wikipedians, even when you disagree. Don't engage in personal attacks. Seek consensus, avoid edit wars, and never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. • Act in good faith, and assume good faith on the part of others. Be open and welcoming to newcomers. If a conflict arises, discuss it calmly on the nearest talk pages and follow dispute resolution Stay calm!
  12. 12. 5. Wikipedia does not have firm rules • Wikipedia has policies and guidelines, Their principles and spirit matter more than their literal wording, and sometimes improving Wikipedia requires making an exception. • Be bold but not reckless in updating articles. Every past version of a page is saved, so any mistakes can be easily corrected. Act in the spirit of Wikipedia
  13. 13. How should Pharma approach editing Wikipedia?
  14. 14. Individuals not companies • Individual user names only • Does not have to be your real name • May mention your company if not promotional e.g. ‘John at Pfizer’ • User page should be clear e.g. ‘I am John, I work for Pfizer’ • Multiple people are not allowed to use this account • Breaching this may result in your account being blocked
  15. 15. Declare your conflict of Interest If you work directly or indirectly for a Pharma company you have a conflict when making Pharma related edits • Declare your conflict of interest (COI) • On your user page • On article talk pages related to your COI • On other users and project talk pages when you have a COI • As a link to your signature • Consider declaring on the COI noticeboard • This will help gain the community’s trust and their help • It will help avoid embarrassing revelations of misconduct
  16. 16. Do not edit articles about yourself, your family or friends, your organisation, your clients, or your competitors Let others make the changes!
  17. 17. Work with the community The Village Pump Articles for creation Peer Review Article Talk Pages User Talk Pages Project Talk Pages
  18. 18. The village pump
  19. 19. Articles for creation A good way to work within a conflict of interest by getting others to create the article
  20. 20. Peer review You can get your article peer reviewed to reduce the likelihood of bias
  21. 21. Article talk pages Interact on the articles talk page and suggest edits
  22. 22. Project talk pages Many active related project pages exist where you can discuss edits
  23. 23. User talk pages Interact with users on their talk pages. Many will be very happy to discuss things, if they believe you can help improve Wikipedia
  24. 24. User talk pages Many of these users are very vigilant and will pick up on anything done in the wrong way so be aware
  25. 25. And to start with! The teahouse is a great place to get started and ask any early questions
  26. 26. Apharma example
  27. 27. GSK/Stiefel A nice example of how to declare conflicts of interests
  28. 28. User contributions The edits here were almost all made via the talk pages (apart from some minor ones) Changes to corporate pages are likely to be less contentious than brand changes
  29. 29. Requesting edits The suggested edits to Stiefel were implemented by someone else
  30. 30. Conclusions • Do not edit pages directly where you have a conflict of interest • Create content that is neutral and suitable for a broad audience • Work with the community • Ask questions on the relevant talk pages • Suggest edits and content • Always consider foremost what will increase the value of Wikipedia • Be bold but not reckless
  31. 31. @garymonk garywmonk Questions? Please get in touch