Cancer Research UK will become the first medical research organisation to appoint a ‘Wikipedian in residence’ who will update the online encyclopaedia's entries involving cancer and teach others at the charity how to do so.
The new role is a six-month fixed-term contract with a salary of £25,000 per annum and has been funded by a public engagement ‘people award’ grant from the Wellcome Trust. He or she will be tasked with holding training sessions with CRUK staff and researching how people are using Wikipedia to research cancer information.
CRUK already has an online information resource though its CancerHelp pages and Liz Woolf, head of CancerHelp UK at CRUK, said: “Our Wikipedian in residence will be finding new ways to build on the information that’s already available to the public through Wikipedia.”
She added: “Wikipedia is often one of patients’ first ports of call for information about their disease and the latest research taking place. Which means it’s more important than ever that they have access to the best and most up to date information that’s out there.”
The project is supported by Wikimedia UK and Jon Davies, its chief executive, said: “The possibility of recruiting a cancer scientist to help edit these important articles is very important.”