Why does medical wikis fail? [ANALYSIS]


Wikipedia is a great resource of knowledge fetching millions of visitors per day. It is the second most consulted website after Google.

But the problem is Wikipedia is quite a generalized wiki containing all aspects of human knowledge. But there is always a hole in it that; many articles which are of scientific value are not written by experts of that field but rather by general viewers.

Many experts started the idea of starting these specialized wikis but most of them have “failed” on the internet.

If you observe closely their “Special:RecentChanges” page; most of them are almost dead, having no edits since ages. For example: Medpedia Recent Changes & AskDrWiki Recent Changes.

Why is it so? Why are they failing?

There are many reasons, among them some are:

  1. Most of them are in public domains, and people out in this medical world don’t want their work to be in public domain.
  2. Almost all medical related personnel wants to publish their work in a journal, newspaper or any other source where their work would remain their copyright entity and have some weight in their CVs.
  3. Most of the experts who are even willing to contribute, doesn’t know how to EDIT wikis.
  4. Many of the data is almost entirely or partially copied from other copyleft sources. 
  5. The owners of that projects mostly derive their server costs by donations, and most of them are non-profit organizations. Honestly speaking, most people out their don’t have money for themselves* so how can they donate to websites?
  6. Editing & maintaining wikis requires too much time online, which most of the experts having their full time jobs don’t have.
* According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Report 2008.