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Conference paper Open Access

Wikipedia disease articles: an analysis of their content and evolution

Gerardo Lagunes García; Lucia Prieto Santamaría; Eduardo P. García del Valle; Massimiliano Zanin; Ernestina Menasalvas Ruiz; Alejandro Rodríguez González

Nowadays there is a huge amount of medical information that can be retrieved from different sources, both structured and unstructured. Internet has plenty of textual sources with medical knowledge (books, scientific papers, specialized web pages, etc.), but not all of them are publicly available. Wikipedia is a free, open and worldwide accessible source of knowledge. It contains more than 150,000 articles of medical content in the form of texts (non-structured information) that can be mined. The aim of this work is to study whether the information contained in Wikipedia medical articles can be used in a research context. The study has been focused on extracting the elements, from Wikipedia disease articles, that can be used to guide a diagnosis process, support the creation of diagnostic systems, or analyze the similarities between diseases, among others. The results provided show that Wikipedia is a rich source of diagnostic knowledge that can be exploited and used in research.

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