Wales and Wikipedia – The EAHIL Conference in Cardiff

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Cardiff

In July I had two new conference experiences; I attended my first European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL)) Conference in Cardiff, and I also co-presented my very first conference workshop, on How to run a Wikipedia editathon. I’m only just writing it up now – I don’t know where the last three four months went.

As a conference with a focus on health information professionals, I really appreciated getting straight down to content that directly related to my role. The EAHIL conference was over three days and had a range of parallel sessions, keynote speakers, and interactive workshops. Our workshop was on the final morning, leaving plenty of time to get nervous excited about it.

The highlight of the presentations was Jane Falconer’s examination of the quality of systematic reviews at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Initially she began the project to show what great work the School are doing, and found the quality of the searches and the reporting was… not as good as it should have been! However, she’s using that as an opportunity to speak to researchers and teams, to promote how having an information specialist on the SR team can improve the quality of the output. It was refreshing to hear how LHSTM are not shying away from this potentially embarrassing finding, but are instead using it as a learning opportunity and a chance to be better. Jane took us along a story in her presentation, and I’m not surprised she won the prize for Best Oral presentation by a first-time attendee.

numbers sqAs for my own workshop, I felt it went well. I blogged about it in more detail over on the Wikimedian in Residence site. We ran a “micro-editathon” in a train-the-trainer style workshop. Four of us shared the speaking responsibilities, including introductions, basic Wikipedia editing training, and Wikiproject Medicine. My own part was speaking about the Wikipedia assignment I help run in Honours year Reproductive Biology. That proved popular and our participants had lots of questions.

 

Our participants were a lovely mix of nationalities, ages, and experience levels. They also came from a range of organisational backgrounds – many were from universities and wanted to talk about the undergraduate Repro Bio assignment, but I also know that some are working mainly with researchers.

Another highlight of EAHIL was the wonderful illustrator creating these brilliant posters while onstage with the keynote speakers.

And of course it was great to get back to Wales, Land of my Fathers, and I was able to combine the conference with seeing a lot of the Jenkinses.

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