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Where does the content in Orthopaedia.NET come from?

Orthopaedia.NET has content from three different sources:

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This article is taken wholly from, or contains information that was originally published by, the <organization name here>. Section editors and authors for the Orthopaedia.NET may have edited its content or added new information. The use of information from the <organization name here> should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by Orthopaedia.NET personnel, or for any editing of the original content.

Who are the authors of original content in Orthopaedia.NET?

Authors are medical students, residents, fellows, surgeons and allied health professionals with an interest in musculoskeletal health. Many authors are experts in their fields as judged by their peers and by their track record of distinguished research, teaching, writing, training, and public outreach within their area of expertise. This community of scholars includes scientists and educators at major academic universities as well as private practice surgeons, industry representatives, government agencies and professional organisations who are appropriately qualified. You can view the current list of members here.

Who decides who can contribute?

The Managing Editors of the Orthopaedia.NET review the qualifications of all applicants to the Orthopaedia.NET community. We hope to expand this role to a committee comprised of a diverse group of respected scientists and educators, and the organizations, agencies, and institutions for which they work.

How do I know I can trust the information in Orthopaedia.NET?

Orthopaedia.NET is working towards a rigorous content-review process that insures that its articles are up-to-date, fair, and accurate.

  • Authors are restricted to individuals who have applied to, and been approved by, the Managing Editors or invited by an approved Orthopaedia.NET member.
  • The actual content of an article is determined by groups of individuals working together on the wiki. An article may start with an individual or small team, but once up in the wiki, the content can, and will, be edited by other individuals who have an interest in the subject and the motivation to improve the article. An article eventually will have many more topic editors, authors, and copy editors than when it began. This process will produce an article that is far superior to what any single individual could possibly create.
  • A Section Editor must review an article released to the public. A Section Editor reviews an article for general content, accuracy, clarity, and adherence to Orthopaedia.NET guidelines. A Section Editor also resolves content-level disputes authoritatively and coherently, though with input from the contributors, and determines the appropriateness of deleting mediocre work.
  • All work in Orthopaedia.NET is attributed to an individual, not an IP address or a user name. This motivates individuals to do their very best work, as it does in traditional scholarly work, and will discourage the explicit acts of sabotage that plague other electronic resources where anonymity is the norm.

How do articles get written?

Articles are written by authors on a wiki. A wiki is website or similar online resource that allows users to add and edit content collectively, including the ability to change text written by other users. Thus, wikis are well-suited for collaborative authoring. The name derives from the Hawaiian term wiki, meaning "quick", "fast", or "to hasten."

This wiki software enables collaborative article development by a community of scholars, as well as a content review process. Any approved member is free to add any entries that lie within their area of expertise, or edit existing articles in those subject areas. Articles are in a constant state of expansion, revision and enhancement as new authors join and as existing authors update their work.

Is a wiki really necessary?

A restricted-access wiki is an excellent tool to produce an information resource that:

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Article quality can be expected to be remarkably high in an adequately active wiki project staffed by experts, for several reasons. Most importantly, the contributors will be well-educated specialists. Also, the work is immediately publicly visible and, therefore, people will tend to post better work than they would otherwise. Finally, the energy of so many scholars, who already know and respect each other, will help motivate all of them to do their best.

What about controversial topics?

Orthopaedia.NET has an explicit policy regarding neutrality and fairness, the details of which can be found here. In a nutshell, the policy requires that:

  • Orthopaedia.NET articles, when touching upon any issue of controversy, must represent every different view on a subject that attracts a significant portion of adherents, with each such view and its arguments or evidence being expressed as fairly and sympathetically as possible.
  • Orthopaedia.NET itself does not advocate positions on¬†political issues; it is both non-partisan and non-sectarian.
  • Orthopaedia.NET does not use phraseology or tone that elevates or deprecates particular perspectives or people holding a particular perspective.
  • Orthopaedia.NET recognizes uncertainties in data, assumptions, interpretation, and understanding.
  • As access to the broadest array of knowledge has many salutary effects, Orthopaedia.NET shall be strongly disposed to include rather than exclude content.
  • When some content both has no discernible and unique benefit to the advancement of knowledge, and has significant potential to harm the health or moral character of individuals, or human society at large, it may be excluded.

What's the difference between Section Editor, Lead Author, and Contributing Author?

Lead Author status is given to someone who starts a truly excellent article, or who significantly expands a previously incomplete article, making it into an excellent, usable, and complete article. Contributing Authors are those who write or significantly rework the content. Section Editors are those who review an entry and decide if it is ready to be published, arbitrate disputes, and help set overall editorial policy.

Can I use material published in the Orthopaedia.NET?

The text in Orthopaedia.NET is meant to be freely available to users who may copy, modify and distribute that content, so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and attributes the content to the authors of the Orthopaedia.NET article used. To achieve this goal, the text contained in Orthopaedia.NET is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons license known as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0. This license permits anyone to (1) copy, distribute, and display your work, (2) work remix, tweak, and build upon your work, without commercial use of your work, subject to these conditions:

  • Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
  • Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
    The full text of the Creative Commons license is available here.

How is Orthopaedia.NET different than Wikipedia?

  1. Virtually anyone can add, delete, or change content in Wikipedia. In Orthopaedia.NET, this privilege is restricted to medical students, residents, fellows, surgeons and allied health professionals with an interest in orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal health, many of whom are judged by their peers to be experts in their fields.
  2. Content on Wikipedia is determined by the equally-weighted voices of all those who want and choose to contribute. Orthopaedia.NET is part scholarly-democracy and part rigorous-meritocracy. Orthopaedia.NET is democratic in the sense that many content and governance decisions are made with input from many diverse scholars. But, Orthopaedia.NET is also a rigorous meritocracy in the sense that important, overreaching editorial decisions are made by the Managing Editors and the Section Editorsand applied to each and every article.
  3. In Wikipedia, there is a view that the involvement of scholars is not necessary to produce an authoritative article. Orthopaedia.NET is based on the premise that input from scholars is essential to produce trustworthy information about orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal health.
  4. Authorship in Wikipedia is anonymous. All work in Orthopaedia.NET is attributed to the individual who did it.
  5. Changes to Wikipedia articles are viewable by the public instantly. Changes to Orthopaedia.NET are viewable instantly, but article versions must be reviewed by a Section Editor.
  6. The restricted access nature of Orthopaedia.NET in combination with the content review process significantly reduces the opportunity and means for bad entries to start in the first place, as well as the length of time they could go undetected.
  7. The taxonomy of Orthopaedia organizes articles according to a logical structure developed by experts.

How will Orthopaedia.NET avoid the quality control problems associated with Wikipedia?

  1. We restrict access to the wiki, and hence all authorship, to experts who have been vetted by other members of the editorial workgroup and the Managing Editors .
  2. With the freedom and ability to have entries written and edited by multiple authors, there should be strong self-policing and quality control. The incremental and iterative work on entries by a group of self-organizing experts should produce a higher quality product than a single author could ever produce.
  3. All articles published have to be reviewed and approved by a Section Editor(s).
  4. All work in Orthopaedia.NET is attributed to an individual, not an IP address or a user name as is the policy in Wikipedia. This will motivate individuals to do their very best work, as it does in traditional scholarly work, and will it discourage the explicit acts of sabotage that plague other electronic resources where anonymity is the norm.