WikiMSK:What WikiMSK Is Not

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This article outlines how WikiMSK differs from other platforms

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. WikiMSK is much more content specific. For example Wikipedia does not allow referencing of primary resources and it also has to cater to a broad audience. WikiMSK is targeted to a specific user group in a specific subject matter. It also allows some types of articles not normally allowed in Wikipedia such as case histories, and article reviews. Wikipedia would never allow a specific page on say how to perform a fluoroscopically guided transforaminal epidural corticosteroid injection. The specific focus also allows WikiMSK to structure the website to cater for the specific needs of the narrow user base.

WikiMSK complements Wikipedia, rather than compete with it. We also share many similar values. WikiMSK wants Wikipedia to be successful and have great resources on many of the topics we focus on. Wikipedia has been shown to be a more effective learning resource than textbooks and Uptodate for undergraduate medical education.[1] WikiMSK wants to use some of the techniques that make it an effective learning resource but laser focus on a very specific area and tweak the formula to be more suitable for the user base.

Another way we differ is that article creation and editing is restricted to a very small set of people. We also use a peer review process that differs to the consensus process of Wikipedia. However we both share principles around open access to knowledge.

The focus here is different from Wikipedia. If a page develops here that meets all of Wikipedia's criteria, that's excellent, but it's also okay if some detailed information from Wikipedia doesn't get repeated here, especially if it's not quite our focus. For example we're not interested in the ATC codes on the lidocaine wikipedia page.

The differences in content, focus and policies between Wikipedia and WikiMSK stem from a difference in vision: while Wikipedia's vision is all knowledge for all people, WikiMSK's is quite different: our mission is to produce an accurate, readable, reliable, accessible, and up-to-date repository of knowledge for the practice of Musculoskeletal Medicine in New Zealand..

WikiMSK also differs from Wikipedia on some technical matters. For example some of our article conventions are different. Also while both use MediaWiki as its wiki software, WikiMSK has several extensions enabled that Wikipedia doesn't, and viceversa. The software allows for easy linking to Wikipedia articles and files.


  1. โ†‘ Scaffidi MA, Khan R, Wang C, Keren D, Tsui C, Garg A, Brar S, Valoo K, Bonert M, de Wolff JF, Heilman J, Grover SC. Comparison of the Impact of Wikipedia, UpToDate, and a Digital Textbook on Short-Term Knowledge Acquisition Among Medical Students: Randomized Controlled Trial of Three Web-Based Resources. JMIR Med Educ. 2017 Oct 31;3(2):e20. doi: 10.2196/mededu.8188. PMID: 29089291; PMCID: PMC5686416.