Available Until 7/20/2025

Wikipedia + Libraries: NNLM*

For more information on this course, or to schedule, please contact the NNLM Training Office at nto@utah.edu.

Wikipedia is a go-to resource for health and medical information, not just for the general public but for health care providers as well. Over 50% of physicians and 94% of medical students use Wikipedia to find medical information on the Internet. (Heilman, 2015)(link is external) It may be popular, but library staff want to know how reliable it is and how they can assess that reliability on behalf of their patrons. This course will help you build the knowledge and skills you need to confidently guide your patrons to authoritative medical and health information online.

This course is self-paced, delivered in Moodle over four weeks. It consists of 4 online modules which include activities such as discussion forums, readings and tutorials where you will gain insight into the value of Wikipedia as a viable reference and build the skills and knowledge needed to evaluate articles on Wikipedia for yourself or your patrons, with a specific focus on health and medical topics.

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 access additional authoritative information.
  • Getting started with editing Wikipedia references and links
  • WikiProject Medicine, an organization of volunteers dedicated to developing, maintaining, and promoting accurate medical information on Wikipedia.
  • The #CiteNLM Wikipedia edit-a-thon and the free resources, programming and training that NNLM offers to libraries

Course URL: https://nnlm.gov/training/class-catalog/wikipedia-libraries-nnlm

Learning Objectives:

As a result of participating, you will be able to
  • Understand the history, organization, guidelines, and editorial processes of Wikipedia, and apply this knowledge to library work
  • Confidently evaluate the reliability of health and medical articles found in Wikipedia
  • Identify the reliable sources guidelines and article standards for health-related content
  • Edit citations and know where to go for editing help outside the boundaries of the course
  • Engage and empower your community members to build information literacy skills and to access authoritative information on health-related topics


We anticipate students to spend about 2 hours each week on course content.

Week 1. Wikipedia for you, your library, and your community
Forum post - wikipedia in your life
Create wikipedia account & user page
Join NNLM wikipedia dashboard
Wikipedia Essentials tutorial

Week 2.  Evaluating Wikipedia with a critical eye
Make article quality grade appear on every page tutorial

Week 3.  Wikipedia references for health and medical topics
Wikipedia editing basics tutorial
Add citation to wikipedia
Forum post - share your edit

Week 4.  Contributing to the Wikipedia body of knowledge
Forum post - how you will use and share what you’ve learned

MLA CE Credits: 8