Elsevier's WiserWiki allows physicians to update evidence-based medical information

New York 29 January 2008Elsevier, a publisher of science and health information, has introduced the beta launch of WiserWiki, a wiki that allows board-certified physicians to collaboratively contribute and update medical information on-line. The site, which is open to and viewable by the public, is seeded with content from "The Textbook of Primary Care Medicine" - 3rd Edition, 2001 - by John Noble, M.D. The textbook was published by Mosby, an Elsevier imprint, and was one of Elsevier's best-selling medical textbooks.

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"WiserWiki is another example of Elsevier's commitment to develop innovative tools for medical professionals", stated Scott Virkler, Vice President, Business Development at Elsevier. "With WiserWiki we're providing a trusted forum for physicians to collaborate and contribute professional-level medical content that's viewable by members of the public."

No longer in print, the textbook seeding WiserWiki contains in-depth information on a full-range of medical problems, conditions and diseases encountered in the practices of family physicians, general internists, medical and surgical subspecialists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

WiserWiki hopes to maintain a high level of relevancy and trustworthiness by ensuring that editorial privileges remain restricted to medical professionals.

"As the use of on-line communities and the Internet has increased the possibilities for and benefits of sharing medical information and best practices with other patients and physicians have grown enormously", noted Dr. Noble. "WiserWiki provides exposure for physicians who wish to publish relevant, up-to-date and insightful medical content based on personal experience and expertise."

WiserWiki is free to users, and contributors retain the copyright to information they contribute to the site, subject to usage rights provided to other users on the site. In order to encourage open collaboration and the exchange of information, WiserWiki uses an "attribution share-alike" license that allows contributors to build upon other authors' works as long as they credit and license derivative works under the identical terms of its license.

Editorial privileges are restricted to board-certified professionals to ensure that information is as accurate and trustworthy as possible. Doctors who are not board certified in the United States can edit WiserWiki. However, Elsevier may contact them with a request for additional information to validate their status as physicians. While members of the public may access information on the site, they are informed that WiserWiki is intended primarily as an informational site for medical professionals.

"There's a lot we can test and learn from WiserWiki", stated Scott Virkler. "A majority of health care wikis aren't fully trusted by users, and attempts to create new wiki communities are hindered by the inability to create a critical mass of information. We're in the best position to provide a medical wiki due to our expertise in the medical content, as well as our know-how in creating valuable tools for physicians."

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2000 journals and 1900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as Science Direct, MDConsult, Scopus, bibliographic databases, and on-line reference works.

Elsevier is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery.

WiserWiki can be consulted on-line at http://www.WiserWiki.com


Leslie Versweyveld

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