Cancer Research UK Recruiting Wikipedian in Residence


In a very smart and forward-thinking move, the largest medical research organization in the United Kingdom is recruiting for a first-of-its-kind position dealing strictly with the editable online encyclopedia.

Cancer Research UK, thanks to funding provided in part by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Wikimedia UK, has announced that it is recruiting a 'Wikipedian in Residence' – someone whose main responsibility will be to make certain that the cancer content found at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is both accurate and up to date.

The Wikipedian in Residence will also tutor Cancer Research UK's scientists on how to edit Wikipedia pages, in addition to helping them understand how cancer patients and other interested parties use the site to access information. They will also work alongside people who already devote their time and energy to editing the cancer content at Wikipedia. The end goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to understand the site's cancer content.

"This new role would see Wikimedia UK and Cancer Research UK joining forces to build on Wikipedia's extensive information on cancer," said Jon Davies, chief executive of Wikimedia UK. "The possibility of recruiting cancer scientists to help edit these important articles is very exciting."

Cancer Research UK hopes to inspire other medical research organizations to hire their own Wikipedian in Residence. The matter is especially important when one realizes that about half a billion people visit Wikipedia and Wikimedia monthly, making it among the top five most visited sites on the internet.

"Wikipedia is often one of cancer patients' first ports of call for information about their disease and the latest research taking place," added Liz Woolf, head of CancerHelp UK at Cancer Research UK, "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."


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