WikiVet:About

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Introduction

WikiVetTM is a collaborative initiative involving UK veterinary schools with support from a number of commercial and government sponsors. The project is creating a comprehensive online knowledge base which covers the entire veterinary curriculum. This will provide a reliable reference source to supersede Wikipedia for veterinary students, nurses and graduates anywhere in the world. To find out what WikiVetTM has to offer see WikiVetTM Introduction.

Site Development

WikiVetTM has been created in a similar way to its big brother Wikipedia. However there are three distinct differences between the two systems. First, all the content relates specifically to the veterinary curriculum. Second, all the content has been authored by vets and students and is peer reviewed by subject specialists at one of the participating veterinary schools. Finally, access to the site is restricted to the veterinary community in order to ensure that the general public are not able to edit the content.

A unique feature of WikiVetTM has been the level of cooperation not only between academics at different schools but also involving the students. At the beginning, over 40 student authors have worked together writing most of the content and this has been reviewed by recent graduates. The students have enjoyed this work and claim that they have learnt a lot more about the subject matter as a result. Their inspiration has also resulted in a number of significant improvements to the site such as interactive content maps, flash cards and clinical cases.

Our principle objectives are:

  • To provide a comprehensive knowledge base covering all aspects of veterinary science for all domestic species;
  • To address the entire veterinary and related curriculum in order to provide a reliable and trusted resource for students anywhere in the world;
  • To use the new opportunities offered by e-learning to support professional lifelong learning;
  • To foster a new community of veterinary educators, learners and practitioners using social media with a common interest in veterinary education;
  • To create a sustainable model which ensures the longterm viability and growth of the site.

Current Status

WikiVet was established in 2007 to provide online access to a comprehensive veterinary curriculum. The consortium was initially formed by three UK veterinary schools (RVC, Edinburgh and Cambridge) and was subsequently joined by Nottingham. It has now grown to include over 10 additional associated academic institutions as well as forming a close association with parts of the commercial veterinary sector. WikiVet now has a registered user base of over 35,000 members of whom about 60% are veterinary students from over 90 countries around the world.

At present, the WikiVet site provides an extensive knowledge base supported by interactive learning materials. This pedagogical mix of online resources has been developed based on feedback from veterinary educators and focus groups of learners. This mix has evolved with time from a multi-user generated wiki to a more complex learning package integrating curriculum resources with supplementary text and references provided by an employed team of authors. The site now has one of the largest veterinary collection of educational resources on the web.

WikiVet continues to and now offers registered users free access to:

  • Over 5,000 assets comprising text, diagrams and images covering topics relevant to veterinary basic sciences, clinical medicine, veterinary nursing and the general public (ongoing)
  • A sophisticated category system to provide rapid browsing by system, species or discipline
  • Over 400 Flashcards with links to WikiVet pages and commercial textbooks
  • A database of over 300 Multiple choice questions and feedback authored by subject experts
  • A comprehensive set of drag and drop exercises on a wide range of topics
  • A Facebook site and linked Twitter feed with regular updates and links to the site
  • An iTunes site with podcast feeds in English, French and Spanish
  • Spanish and French sub sites with a subset of translated content
  • A video database including over 200 veterinary videos to enhance site content
  • Links to key references and full text articles through the CABI database

The number of users of the site has grown significantly since its launch as the content has improved and developed to cover more topics. In addition there has been increasing interest from academic institutions, veterinary organisations and the commercial sector. Figure 2 shows the growth in international registrations to the site.

A proportion of the site was made open for public access in 2010 and as a result this content has been widely indexed by Google and the number of visits has steadily grown to over 1 million individual visits in the last year alone.

WikiVet has been dependent on the generosity of a large number of organisations committed to supporting veterinary education. These include the Higher Education Academy, RCVS Trust, Pfizer Global Alliances, Ceva, Mars Ltd and the Donkey Sanctuary who have all provided funding. Other organisations which have assisted with providing content and support including Elsevier, Mansons Publishing, CABI, IVIS and VetPrep. In addition colleagues and students at all the collaborating veterinary schools have been fundamental to the projects success. Finally the site has been dependent on the good will and time of numerous volunteer students and academics around the world.

More Information

  • More detail about some developments can be found on WikiVetTM News pages
  • You can find out more about the team currently working on the site at WikiVetTM Team and the community of practice which has been working on the wiki in the past: WikiVetTM Community
  • Companies and organisations that sponsored WikiVetTM: Sponsors
  • Educational research behind the WikiVetTM approach Theories



Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No derivatives 3.0 License

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