On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 3:41 AM, Risker <risker.wp(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Yes, of course readability analysis is done by
automation. I've yet to
find a consistent readability assessment that doesn't use automation. It's
not an area where subjectivity is particularly useful.
And that was an average of 18 minutes per article, i.e., 36 minutes: 18
minutes for the WP article and 18 minutes for the PDQ article. How long do
you really think it should take? I read several of the articles in under 5
minutes on each site. Of course, the reviewers wouldn't need to look up
the definitions of a lot of the terms that lay people would need to look
at, because they were already professionally educated in the topic area, so
that would significantly reduce the amount of time required to assess the
It took me more than 18 minutes to write the last e-mail in this thread. :)
The lung cancer article, for example, which was among those reviewed, has
well over 4,500 words of prose, and cites 141 references. That's a
reviewing speed of 250 words per minute. I don't know if you have ever done
an FA review ...
Andreas, you seem to have pre-determined that
Wikipedia's medical articles
are all terrible and riddled with errors.
And I think you are being needlessly defensive. I have an open mind as to
what the results might be. What I am sure of is that neither you nor I nor
the Foundation really know how reliable they are. Why not make an effort to
Realistically, they're amongst
the most likely to receive professional editing and review - Wikiproject
Medicine does a much better job than people are willing to credit them.
Yes, and many editors there are sorely concerned about the quality of
medical information Wikipedia provides to the public.
Incidentally, there was a discussion of the JAOA study in The Atlantic
A member of WikiProject Medicine is quoted in it, as is the study's author.
So both sides acknowledge: There are errors in Wikipedia’s health articles.
And that’s a problem, because people use them.
The biggest weakness to the articles - and I've
heard this from many people
who read them - is that they're written at too high a level to be really
accessible to lay people. I thought the point that the study made about
the benefit of linking to an "English" dictionary definition of complex
terms rather than to another highly technical Wikipedia article was a very
good one, for example. We could learn from these studies.
Indeed, many science articles are mainly written by professionals in the
field (I noted math and physics earlier, but chemistry and of course a
large number of computer articles are also written by professionals). The
biggest challenge for these subjects is to write them in an accessible way.
Note, I said "science" - alternative medicine, history, geopolitical and
"soft science" articles are much more problematic.
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