Grants:Project/Rapid/The most influential medical journals, according to Wikipedia: JIMR paper

The most influential medical journals, according to Wikipedia: JMIR paper
We have written a landmark paper quantifying the volume and speed of journal citation by Wikipedia medical pages. We used big data techniques coupled with domain specific knowledge. Our article has been accepted by one of the world’s highest impact factor medical informatics journal, The Journal of Medical Internet Research. We request support of US$2000 towards the article processing fee of US$2500.
targetEnglish Wikipedia
start date27 July
start year2020
end date28 August
end year2020
budget (local currency)1200 EUR
budget (USD)1358 USD
grant typeIndividual

Project GoalEdit

Choose one or more of the following goals. You can add or delete goals as needed.

  • Primarily, this grant will allow us to succeed in allowing a publication in an open access, prime journal, of our evidence-based, peer-reviewed article we have written that describes the preferences for medical journals expressed by the Wikipedia community over time. Having the article open access would increase readership substantially and align with the message of the article and the Wikimedia Foundation's mission statement. The journal (Journal of Medical Internet Research) is a top journal of the field (currently ranked no. 4 in health informatics), but publication there requires an open access fee.
  • Publishing the article will allow it to reach a wide audience. The goals of the article are the following:
  1. Show how medical journals are used on Wikipedia.
  2. Allow a discussion on the reputable sources validity, the value of open knowledge and access.
  3. Discuss the high quality of medical content on Wikipedia and its sourcing.
  4. Encourage readers of the article and biomedical practitioners or experts to contribute to medical content on Wikipedia.

Project PlanEdit

Relevant detailsEdit

1. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.

  • Publishing the paper in open access will automatically make it available to the Wikimedia community and the global medical community at large
  • The details of the paper (after publication) would be shared with the participants of WP:MED through email lists and other relevant forums.
  • Social sharing in the form of tweets and Facebook posts from official accounts of WikiJournal of Medicine on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Possible coverage by the Wikipedia Facebook page and Wikimedia blog. Posts in the Facebook groups Wikipedia Weekly, Wikipedia & Medicine, Wikipedia & Education, Medical Cases Wikipedia etc.
  • Blog posts and articles in arrangement with various publishers as in 1
  • Interviews similar to the one on ResearchGate.
  • This academic paper will be searchable through Google scholar and would be listed in other scholarly databases including Pubmed.
  • The journal (JMIR) is considered prime and has a very high impact factor. Readers of the journal would get enlightened about the potential scope of their contribution to Wikipedia.

2. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?

Yes, experienced Wikimedia editors are authors of the article.

3. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?

  • Yes, all authors of the article are qualified in the field of internet research and have the requisite skills required for writing a research paper.

4. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?

  • Readers ("participants") of the article, which will potentially include both Wikimedia participants as well as biomedical sciences and epidemiology experts, will gain a broader understanding of the impact of open access medical content of Wikipedia on public health and of the credible sources Wikipedia uses for medical content. The article shows clearly what content is favored by Wikipedia community, by analyzing a large dataset of articles in time, allowing a much more refined analysis than currently available through Wikidata.
  • On a much smaller scale, one author of the article is member of WikiJournal of Medicine and will continue to contribute after this paper is published.

Dissemination of the work will be maximised via the following:

  • JMIR has in-house publicity
  • We will write a 1 page press release summarising key points for sending to news outlets
  • The manuscript will be posted on online repositories (ResearchGate, Mendeley, Institution websites)
  • Co-authors will investigate additional presentation opportunities – Already the preliminary findings were presented at an academic conference and were very well received.
  • We are writing a companion piece for the Wikipedia Signpost

5. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

  • Our article promotes the importance of open access to information that is achieved on Wikipedia. Our article provides a clear, evidence-based summary of what medical sources have been used by Wikipedia in time. We feel that it is of utmost importance to publish our article, and since JMIR is a "golden open access" journal, paying the open access fee is the only way to publish it at all. Without covering the fee, our article will have to be withdrawn, even though it has already been accepted through rigorous peer review.
  • Any funding from the WMF would be clearly acknowledged in the paper, along with a statement that the WMF did not dictate the article's contents (to avoid any perceived conflict of interest).
  • We feel our goals and the article are in line with the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission statement, "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."
  • If the grant gets funded, the payment can be made directly to the concerned journal authorities.


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:

The authors of the article include Dr Dariusz Jemielniak, Dr Gwinyai Masukume, and Dr Maciej Wilamowski. Please, note that Dr Jemielniak has recused himself from this application, as the WMF Board member. Dr Gwinyai Masukume is a dedicated member of WikiJournal of Medicine and contributes as a volunteer to promote high quality medical content on Wikipedia. The article has been accepted by the Journal of Medical Internet Research and is ready for publication, pending open access fee. The fee is US$2500, with an additional handling fee of US$175 if payment is made non-electronically. We are unable to pay these fees. Our team feels publishing the article is important, and also open access is key to the core values discussed in the article and to allow the Wikipedia community access to the information we have put together. If the grant is funded, we will move forward with publication. If not, we may be unable to publish the article at this time. We are currently working on acquiring other sources of funding for this fee, but have so far been unsuccessful.

The abstract of the article is as follows:

Background: Wikipedia, the multilingual encyclopedia, was founded in 2001 and is the world’s largest and most visited online general reference work. Wikipedia is widely used by healthcare professionals and students. The inclusion of journal articles into Wikipedia is of scholarly interest yet it is unclear how long it takes for a journal article to be included, from the moment of its publication to its incorporation into Wikipedia.

Methods: We evaluated the number of days between journal article publication and its citation in the English language Wikipedia medical articles, up to October 2017, treating it as a proxy for information diffusion rate. We retrieved the dates of article inclusion on Wikipedia, as well as the date of journal publication from Crossref.

Results: We found citations to 137,889 journal articles from over 15,000 journals, in 11,325 Wikipedia medical articles. There was a big spike in the number of journal articles published in or after 2002 that were cited by Wikipedia. The higher the importance of a Wikipedia article, the more mean (standard deviation -SD) journal citations on average it contained. However the importance of the Wikipedia article did not affect the speed of reference addition. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet were the most cited journals by Wikipedia, in that order. The multidisciplinary journals Nature, Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences were within the top ten journals by Wikipedia medical article citation. On average it now takes 100 days (three months) for a journal article published in a top biomedical journal to be cited in Wikipedia.

Conclusion: We found evidence of recentisim, whereby recently published journal articles are preferentially cited in Wikipedia. Traditional high impact medical and multidisciplinary journals were highly cited by Wikipedia suggesting that Wikipedia medical articles have robust underpinnings. In keeping with the Wikipedia policy of citing reviews/secondary sources in preference to primary sources, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was the most referenced journal.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets:

  • Simply, publishing in open access will be a success in aligning with the message of the article to as wide as possible an audience.
  • The Journal of Medical Information Research has an impact factor of 4.671 (Top 10 in its field), the article is therefore expected to be cited many times in other scholarly articles. Open access publication will further the reach of this article.
  • Our hope is that publication of this article will begin conversations (on social media sites and through publicity surrounding the article) about how more biomedical experts can contribute to medical content on Wikipedia, and that it will result in more editors joining the medical community on Wikipedia.
  • We plan to monitor the impact of the article by Citations received, Pageviews, and AltMetrics.
    • AltMetrics will monitor the immediate general public impact of the work, whereas pageviews and citations will measure long-term impact in the medical field.
  • We will also report on all interest by the general media, and feedback from in-person presentations at conferences and meetings.


What resources do you have? Include information on who is the organising the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

  • The authors of the article include Dr Dariusz Jemielniak (recused from the application), Dr Gwinyai Masukume, and Dr Maciej Wilamowski. Dr Gwinyai Masukume is a dedicated member of WikiJournal of Medicine and contributes as a volunteer to promote high quality medical content on Wikipedia. All authors have collaboratively written the article. Dr Dariusz Jemielniak (recused from the application) does run a 5-year grant on open collaboration.
  • The article was submitted on 29 June 2018, and the authors covered $90 submission fee out of their pockets.
  • The article submission was accepted and has been subjected to peer-review.
  • Revisions were received from peer-reviewers and have been addressed.
  • The article has been accepted for publication
  • We are working on grants and reaching out for other sources of funding to allow publication of the article. Each author is reaching out to his or her institution for support, but so far have been unsuccessful.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense:

  • The only resources required are the funds to cover the open access publishing surcharge. No additional resources are needed.
Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Cost per unit Total cost Currency Notes
1 Journal article Article processing fees n/a n/a n/a 2000 USD We request support to help us pay the journal article processing fees of $2500.

Total cost of projectEdit

2500 USD

Total amount requestedEdit

2000 USD


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • Prof. Eric Youngstrom (talk) -- I think that this is an extremely helpful paper in terms of documenting the reach and impact of Wikipedia in the academic "eco-system." It will help with credibility for Wikipedia, and accelerate engagement in the academic community. Having it published in an open access journal is consistent with Wikipedia's core values, and will also increase the visibility and impact of the paper.
  • T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk - Formally measuring Wikipedia's medical citation practices will be very useful for monitoring and improving those practices, as well as outreach to the medical community at large. As a previous recipient of a similar grant to cover processing fees for wikipedia-related work, I can confirm that it was extremely helpful in getting the paper to reach a wider audience - particularly those who don't have access to paywalled journals.
  • Worth $2,500. Johnbod (talk) 02:35, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
  • This project is an important way of communicating the workings of Wikipedia to a wider audience, encouraging people beyond existing wiki-community circles to reflect upon medical content on Wikipedia and perhaps consider getting involved themselves. It is also a valuable way of providing Wikimedians around the world with evidence that we can use to inform advocacy and further research. Zeromonk (talk) 06:42, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. This paper tells me information that I already know, but it is nice to see robust statistical information to back up my opinion. The paper will also provide a peer-reviewed source for us to quote.
I am interested to know how the researchers determined the "importance" of a Wikipedia article. If this was determined by article authors' labelling of articles on the Talk page, then the correlation of "importance" with the number of journal citations is unsurprising and not particularly helpful.
"On average it now takes 100 days (three months) for a journal article published in a top biomedical journal to be cited in Wikipedia." Is this the mean time or the median time? The median time would be more helpful. I suspect that the sentence as a whole is incorrectly phrased. The statement implies that many/most journal articles are being cited in Wikipedia. Given the vast number of primary studies, I suspect that most "top biomedical journal articles" are not cited in Wikipedia at all. Rather, the intended meaning should be something like: "For the top biomedical journal papers cited in Wikipedia's medical articles, it takes an average of 100 days for the citation to be used in Wikipedia."
I am concerned about the conclusion of "recentisim" [sic]. Wikipedia has a very particular meaning for this phrase. The general definition of recentism also implies that this would be undesirable in encyclopedic articles. However medical articles typically benefit from relying on more recent journal papers. "Recentism" as defined by Wikipedia or a generic dictionary rarely affects Wikipedia's medical articles. Axl (talk) 11:52, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • support Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 12:20, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I think this is an important topic, and the article processing fee of that journal is indeed $2,500. Mikael Häggström (talk) 16:09, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Great opportunity for outreach to medical experts Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2018 (UTC)


Dr Dariusz Jemielniak (recused from the application)
Dr Gwinyai Masukume
Dr Maciej Wilamowski