Cancer info on Wikipedia surprisingly accurate

WHILE patients are frequently warned that health information on Wikipedia may not be trustworthy, a study has found its cancer information is as accurate as that of a US professional peer-reviewed website.

US researchers compared the accuracy of information on 10 cancer types available on Wikipedia with the patient-oriented Physician Data Query (PDQ), a series of professionally edited articles maintained by the US National Cancer Institute.

They found no differences between the depth and accuracy of content on the websites, with the PDQ scoring 30 out of a possible 72 and Wikipedia scoring 34.

Less than 2% of the information on both websites was inaccurate compared with cancer textbooks, but the PDQ was significantly more “readable” than Wikipedia.

Hyperlinks from the PDQ linked to plain English explanations, whereas Wikipedia hypertext most often linked to highly technical studies, they found.

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