An Open Letter to Pharma: Please Employ a Wikipedian
Based on the recent open letter sent to the Royal Society about employing a Wikipedian in residence, here is my open letter as a Wikipedia administrator to pharma following the discussion with Michael Spitz on Twitter.
Dear Pharma Companies,
The place of Wikipedia in the dissemination of medical information online is indisputable now. If you want your customers to access information about your products from the quality perspective and in the simplest way, you have to deal with using Wikipedia.
Based on the pretty negative past encounters between pharma employees and Wikipedia editors (pharma employees trying to edit entries about their own products in a quite non-neutral way), we advise you to employ a Wikipedia editor if you want to make sure only evidence-based information is included in entries about your own products. Appointing someone from within your company as a “spokesperson” in Wikipedia who would perform all edits on behalf of the company is an excellent way to update those entries.
For more details, please see our open access social media guide.
But basically, we, Wikipedians, are more than open to starting a discussion about this with you.
I’m looking forward to working together.
Dr. Bertalan Mesko