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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 77-79

Wikipedia and Dental Literature

1 Independent Research Scientist, Associate Editor of Dental Hypotheses, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Endodontics and Dental Research Center, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication29-Jan-2019

Correspondence Address:
Pedram Iranmanesh
Department of Endodontics and Dental Research Center, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Hezar-Jerib Ave., Isfahan 81746-73461
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/denthyp.denthyp_75_18

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How to cite this article:
Kolahi J, Iranmanesh P. Wikipedia and Dental Literature. Dent Hypotheses 2018;9:77-9

How to cite this URL:
Kolahi J, Iranmanesh P. Wikipedia and Dental Literature. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 8];9:77-9. Available from:

Wikipedia is a well-known openly editable and free online encyclopedia. Its level of accuracy is comparable with the Britannica encyclopedia.[1] The usage of scientific information in Wikipedia as an academic resource is a controversial issue today.[2] Yet, only English-language medical Wikipedia articles recorded more than 2.4 billion official visits in 2017.[3] In the field of dentistry, a number of Wikipedia articles citing dental articles have grown fast during the last 3 years (polynomial trend line analysis: y = 1.3091x3−7898.6x2 + 2E + 07x−1E + 10, R2 = 0.9684). Hence, we aimed to find out popular journals and hot topics among dental articles cited in Wikipedia.

To find Wikipedia citations, first the ISSNs of dental journals were obtained from InCites Journal Citation Report (Clarivate Analytics, Pennsylvania, USA) and then explored in the Altmetric database (Altmetric LLP, London, UK) on November 24, 2018.

To find hot topics, keyword co-occurrence network analysis was used.[4],[5],[6] It is widely believed that an author’s keywords point toward the core of a research output. By way of definition, the keywords α, β, γ, and δ can be defined to “cooccur” if they all appear in a specific article. One more article may encompass the keywords γ, δ, ε, and ζ. Connecting these keywords creates a co-occurrence network of the six keywords. In this network, keywords γ and δ would be hot topics. Network analysis was conducted by VOSviewer 1.6.6 (, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University).[7] Bibliometric data of dental articles cited in Wikipedia were extracted from PubMed.

Totally, among 2826 Wikipedia citations, 1915 dental articles were cited from 91 dental journals. The Journal of Dental Research had the highest number of Wikipedia citations followed by British Dental Journal and Journal of the American Dental Association [Figure 1]. Among Wikipedia articles, “Hypodontia” cited the greatest number of dental articles, followed by “Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation” and “Mouthwash” [Table 1].
Figure 1: Top ten dental journals with the highest number of articles cited in Wikipedia

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Table 1: Top 10 Wikipedia articles citing the greatest number of dental articles

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Meta-analysis and systematic reviews are the most popular topics among Wikipedia citations. Considering the principles of evidence-based dentistry is so promising. The use of high-level evidences from well-known academic journals showed that dental Wikipedians and editors were scholars who were familiar with the principles of literature review. In contrast, highly cited dental articles had the lowest level of evidence.[8] In addition, dental implant, dental caries, and oral health were other hot topics [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Hot topics among 1915 dental articles cited in Wikipedia. Red–yellow–green–blue color scheme was used; red corresponds to the highest keyword co-occurrence in density, and blue corresponds to the lowest density. The distance-based approach was used to create this map, which means the smaller the distance between two terms, the higher their relatedness

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Nevertheless, the limitations and prospects of Wikipedia as a newly emerging academic tool were nicely crystalized at a Wikipedia article titled “Health information on Wikipedia.” Despite several critical points of view, we believe Wikipedia has potentials for the dissemination of knowledge. It is a multilingual, open access, and openly editable scholar tool. Only English Wikipedia involved 5,767,682 articles, and it averages 559 new articles per day. Turning a blind eye to the potentials of Wikipedia and only focusing on its limitations is not sensible. In the new media age, the dissemination of knowledge to a wider range of audiences to increase the impact of scholarly findings on the nonacademics is a rising mission. Dental scientists should pay more attention to this concept, create Wikipedia articles about trending scientific topics with an adequate scientific quality, and edit other limited articles to increase the availability of reliable scientific information to the public.[9]

Readers should note that Wikipedia has its own editorial oversight and control, guidelines, and ranking system for medical contents, which are determined in WikiProject Medicine.[10] Furthermore, the Cochrane–Wikipedia partnership in 2016 opened up new perspectives on the distribution of systematic review findings into Wikipedia, keeping it up to date. This collaboration will improve the evidence base of Wikipedia health-related contents.

  Financial support and sponsorship Top

Nil.Conflicts of interest

Kolahi J., is a Wikipedian.

  References Top

Giles J. Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. Nature 2005;438:900-1.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mesgari M, Okoli C, Mehdi M, Nielsen FÅ, Lanamäki A. “The sum of all human knowledge”: A systematic review of scholarly research on the content of Wikipedia. J Assoc Inf Sci Technol 2015;66:219-45.  Back to cited text no. 2
Murray H. More than 2 billion pairs of eyeballs: Why aren’t you sharing medical knowledge on Wikipedia? BMJ Evid Based Med 2018. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111040.  Back to cited text no. 3
Cheng F-F, Huang Y-W, Yu H-C, Wu C-S. Mapping knowledge structure by keyword co-occurrence and social network analysis. Libr Hi Tech 2018;36:636-50.  Back to cited text no. 4
Chen X, Chen J, Wu D, Xie Y, Li J. Mapping the research trends by co-word analysis based on keywords from funded project. Procedia Comput Sci 2016;91:547-55.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kolahi J, Soltani P. Scientific landscape of dental literature in 2017. Dent Hypotheses 2018;9:29-30.  Back to cited text no. 6
  [Full text]  
van Eck NJ, Waltman L. Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics 2010;84:523-38.  Back to cited text no. 7
Kolahi J. The lowest epistemologic strength and the highest citation rate: An opinion. Dent Med Res 2016;4:29-30.  Back to cited text no. 8
  [Full text]  
Shafee T, Mietchen D, Su AI. Academics can help shape Wikipedia. Science 2017;357:557-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
James R. WikiProject Medicine: Creating credibility in consumer health. J Hosp Librariansh 2016;16:344-51.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Altmetric analysis of the contemporary scientific literature in Endodontology
J. Kolahi,S. Khazaei,P. Iranmanesh,A. Khademi,M. H. Nekoofar,P. M. H. Dummer
International Endodontic Journal. 2019;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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