Wanted: eating disorder experts for Wikipedia

white_scales.jpgI’ve spent most of the last caffeine-fuelled 24 hours re-writing the Wikipedia page on anorexia nervosa which now seems to be in better shape than it was. It needs some well qualified stewards to keep an eye on it though, could this be you?

If you are a clinician, researcher or enthusiastic student with an interest in anorexia, this page could do with your input.

Otherwise, the bulimia nervosa article is in urgent need of attention, which is in a similarly poor state as the anorexia article was.

Wikipedia is currently one of the most visited sites on the internet, meaning millions of people get their information from it. The need for free, high-quality, accurate information is essential.

You could contribute your expertise to the world. Eating disorders have the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, so your time could literally save lives.

Unlike other forms of scientific writing, Wikipedia articles are a process rather than a product. The best pages have well-informed, open-minded and diplomatic ‘regulars’ who maintain the article in good shape, steer other contributors into best practice, and back up the information with references to academic studies.

Often this means challenging your own pre-conceptions and point-of-view (no matter how much you know) and getting a broad understanding of the subject, so the article can reflect this rounded approach.

It is an incredible learning experience, but can also be a little frustrating at times, as you meet people with a wide variety of agendas.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the anorexia article, but it also needs adopting by some specialists in the field, as I’m not an eating disorders specialist by any means.

If you’re intending to ‘adopt’ an article, it’s good practice to say hello on the discussion page and discuss your intentions as you go, and if you’ve never edited a Wikipedia page before, now’s your chance to learn.

Link to Wikipedia page on anorexia nervosa.
Link to Wikipedia page on bulimia nervosa.

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