The Quality and Readability of English Wikipedia Anatomy Articles
Journal article, 2019
Forty anatomy articles were sampled from English Wikipedia and assessed quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, each article’s edit history was analyzed by Wikipedia X-tools, references and media were counted manually, and two readability indices were used to evaluate article readability. This analysis revealed that each article was updated 8.3 ± 6.8 times per month, and referenced with 33.5 ± 24.3 sources, such as journal articles and textbooks. Each article contained on average 14.0 ± 7.6 media items. The readability indices including: (1) Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level Readability Test and (2) Flesch Reading Ease Readability Formula demonstrated that the articles had low readability and were more appropriate for college students and above. Qualitatively, the sampled articles were evaluated by experts using a modified DISCERN survey. According to the modified DISCERN, 13 articles (32.5%), 24 articles (60%), 3 articles (7.5%), were rated as “good,” “moderate,” and “poor,” respectively. There were positive correlations between the DISCERN score and the number of edits (r = 0.537), number of editors (r = 0.560), and article length (r = 0.536). Strengths reported by the panel included completeness and coverage in 11 articles (27.5%), anatomical details in 10 articles (25%), and clinical details in 5 articles (12.5%). The panel also noted areas which could be improved, such as providing missing information in 28 articles (70%), inaccuracies in 10 articles (25%), and lack or poor use of images in 17 articles (42.5%). In conclusion, this study revealed that many Wikipedia anatomy articles were difficult to read. Each article’s quality was dependent on edit frequency and article length. Learners and students should be cautious when using Wikipedia articles for anatomy education due to these limitations.
gross anatomy education