Talk:Main Page/main-03

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Reference Style

I think we need to consider reference house style. I have tended to use Vancouver with direct links superscripted by number and only given selected references in the Reference section of articles...not good style according to Wikipedia:Citing sources. Ultimately good citations control would enhance our reputation. The autofoot note templates on Wikipedia don't do what I think should be possible : allow you to create a reference as you write using a template like {{REF|Journal of small facts and little knowledge}} and a template like {{ListofREFS}} that does whole job automatically. I have made some suggestions in Help:Citations. Comments could go to this pages discussion page Mlj 00:02, 10 February 2006 (CET)

Good. I suspect that setting house style will include an element of trawling and reviewing - many of us particularly at first will just make an in-line reference and in line with "Wikipedia:don't bit newbies" the rest of us will only rmeark on it by example. Midgley 14:43, 12 February 2006 (CET)

Search - neat

Nice, Adam. Midgley 19:49, 10 February 2006 (CET) I like it too. Since us Doctors classify everything and comment on it (unlike Wikipedia good style), can you get the pattern match to always check for pages entitled Category: XYZ and Help: XYZ, as well as XYZ and present these early on the search return page if present as clickable links. Would be possible I thinkMlj 21:39, 10 February 2006 (CET)

comments on edits for showing in history

If we are reading the history of an article, and particularly searching for a particular diff, it is helpful to have comments in the filed provided for most edits. WP requires this and I think they are right, and as we get larger it will be essential. Minor edits probably don't need any comment, but I commonly put "sp" or whatever in them. It is also part of the dialogue of creation, and hopefully allows us to understand what each other had in mind. In the absence of large jolly gatherings that sort of sub-liminal communication is IMHO well worthwhile to the project. Midgley 14:46, 12 February 2006 (CET)

A very good point, and a habit I keep forgetting until I've pressed the 'save page' button. I will try harder!!! --A.l.brown 20:20, 12 February 2006 (CET)


"Ganfyd is not a list of links" is I hope a policy we would tend to follow, similarly to the WP. I think it is important that we maintain readability at least of the layer of information that is neither the 15 second hit nor the deep references to follow back to the lab bench of the discoverer of something. You'll have noticed that some of my contributions are readable more than erudite, I hope - the former is a deliberate attempt. I think that some deeper references can go on talk pages, in due course we might make use of sub-pages for some of the discussion around them, but I think we shuld try to put them in some context, rather than "go here and you will understand", it should be "things are this way, go there to check for yourself". Midgley 21:24, 15 February 2006 (CET)

I'm aware that I tend to create links. The rationale behind this is that, not being a clinician, it's perhaps unwise to try to extrapolate the findings into some sort of clinical content. I guess my view is that I'll leave a trail of evidence so when a clinician does cover the topic the evidence is waiting there. Happy to be directed into a better use of my time/skills--Jb 22:05, 15 February 2006 (CET)
I'll not criticise that. Lets see how it evolves. Midgley 20:15, 16 February 2006 (CET)
Later ... I suggest adding the {{draft}} tags as well in that circumstance, or even having a different tag - evidence-based skeleton perhaps.Midgley 20:22, 17 February 2006 (CET)


I'm probably being a bit thick, but is there a way of listing all the available templates? There seems to be a variety of ways of highlighting information and it might be nice to aim for consistency. Seeing what is available would be a start. Tried the search function with only 'template' ticked, but strangely couldn't get it to display any hits. Mark ong 20:03, 17 February 2006 (CET)

Special:Allpages Rupert 20:08, 17 February 2006 (CET)

Ah, thanks. Mark ong

Other Questions of Style

How should we treat accented characters, e.g. Guillain-Barr%C3%A9_syndrome and Buergers disease (e.g. ue vs ü). I note that typing in 'barre' into the search engine does not throw up any hits as the character has been changed into URL friendly characters...

Redirects? Can the index be told to index special chars? Universal - 2 byte - character codes rather than ANSI ones? Midgley 20:20, 17 February 2006 (CET)

Which brings me on to the issue of other 'special characters'. I suppose using them is unavoidable, e.g. in epononymous names, but can we minimise the use. I notice that Adrian has opted for slashes with the ECG examples. Is this something we should aim to standardise? Mark ong

That is a misinterpretation actualy - those are sub-pages rather than simple names. / is a special character. Midgley 20:20, 17 February 2006 (CET)

Wikipedia guidance: Mark ong

Singular or Plural

Following on from eponym vs eponyms. When we name pages, should it be 'Genes' or 'Gene'? Needle vs Needles? NSAID or NSAIDs?

Not sure that we should follow a rigid rule, but for more obvious objects, perhaps we should have some guidance. (Or do we already? - off to check) Mark ong 01:15, 7 March 2006 (CET)

WP prefers singular, and I suggest we do, although we can be relaxed about it, and make redirects whenever we notice an ambiguity. Restless legs does not seem a controversial title either here or on WP... (Ekbom's syndrome OTOH turns out to be two, one of whcih is delusions of parasitosis, which was new to me. I thoguht you'd like to know that. Midgley 19:56, 22 March 2006 (CET)


Would Clinical examination be better than Category:Medical examination. Medical examination reminds me either of MBChB finals or of insurance medicals?

We also need a new category for some of the molecular biology related articles. We have Category: Biochemistry already, but there we have had a few recent basic science pages. Should we have separate categories for immunology, genetics, etc. or lump them together under molecular biology? Or sub-groups? It's a balance between being comprehensive and being simple. Mark ong 13:04, 19 February 2006 (CET)

Yes to the former change. As for the latter, I'm less certain, but at the level we function on (me at least) perhaps we should have a single category of "Science" meaning underlying science rather than being part of medicine itself as built upon that foundation. I suspect a good approach is defined in the statement of the situation above - a category of "Basic science" would not be objectionable to anyone except for pedantry over whether it is actually pretty advanced stuff. No strong view. Midgley 13:36, 19 February 2006 (CET)
I've started a move. Inter alia, we need a convention on this sort of thing, I realise I blithely created History and Medical history. How about History (Presenting complaint) History (past medical of patient) Examination (Neurological) with synonyms and redirects as needed? e also need a box or route for those articles which are on the conventional flow of clerking a patient (and bearing in mind that the process in GP and perhaps in some specialised out patients neither is quite like that nor should be). I think I'd use the top or bottom rather than the side for such a box - they stack better that way.


(I probably ought to use the forum, but I think this seems easier!). A bit of a long post, but I think necessary.

How can we best present the evidence base? A few points:

  • A link to the original references does not provide any added analysis. Good, because it allows the reader to make up their own mind; Bad, if they want a precis without having to read it themselves (which is a common occurence with the explosion of information).
  • Too many references, and we lose clarity as the reader will not know which reference to start with.
  • A link to another site is a recommendation of sorts. But, not all external organisations can be trusted. The Cochrane methodology in their meta-analysis of albumin vs crystalloid received a fair bit of criticism. NICE is not regarded as totally independent and cost-effectiveness is part of their considerations. SIGN are generally very good, but the guidelines on sedation in children was felt to be too biased and, if I remember correctly, had to be revised.

I must confess I'm not a great fan of the Hubmed links to the 'big 4' and RCTs. It makes the reference list a little crowded without actually adding much information. Is it possible to make it more subtle, or to separate it from References and put it separately as a template box?

Nature reviews of cancer reference style

I favour a style used by some journals where the reference list is comprehensive, but is annotated to highlight key studies (which are accompanied by a little blurb on the significance of the important papers). Mark ong 14:54, 19 February 2006 (CET)

Think of layering, and think of the knowledge trails described by Vannevar Bush in 1938. We should present what people most need to know, with behind that more, and behind that yet more until eventually, all is exposed if people dig far enough (and out of the scope of this site). But we should rarely simply assert something without it being clear on what basis we assert it (I specifically rule in us saying that a general opinion is, or we think that, provided we say so). And we should, having navigated through the information jungle, leave a trail to make it easy for someone else to follow us.
So the purpose of a reference is one or more of:-
    • Showing where we got something - actually an inline reference is good for this;
    • Showing where to go for further detail in something we have touched upon - a bare reference under See also is OK, but a short indication of why one goes there and what it covers is added value "1. Rabies in Andean Stoats, Alia S, Smith J and Jones P 1998" Discusses the difficulty of immunising wild animals in conditions hostile to vaccinia persistence.
    • Listing significant work in the field. I'm unsure how to improve on that.
It is at least possible that a statement should be added to the ganfyd is not list "Ganfyd is not - totally consistent, since it covers a wide range, is written by many people and its style continues to emerge." I applaud efforts to bring out standard appearance, but do think we must avoid raising the entry bar too much - as in WP, the thing is to fix anything one comes across, and regard it as all part of the work. Midgley 15:59, 19 February 2006 (CET)
Regarding the reference list, I think we should start making use of Rupert's excellent reference extension, which does everything you'd ever need for references, and have the 'For RCT's on...' and the 'Big 4' links in a box called 'Evidence-based medicine' just above the reference list. JMHO. :-) --A.l.brown 16:49, 19 February 2006 (CET)
PS: Maybe Rupert could extend the Extension to allow the use of descriptors as illustrated in the example shown in the picture above? --A.l.brown 16:52, 19 February 2006 (CET)
Done. See Ganfyd talk:References Extension. Rupert 21:07, 19 February 2006 (CET)


Now we have it on main page, but we should have a micro version on every page in case some one links into a site article direcly from outside. This is best web practice.

Please read the disclaimer. If you are unwell and looking for advice please
see your own doctor or contact emergency healthcare services as appropriate.

It should be top right and I suggest look something like

Some one with systems rights should hard code it.Mlj 22:55, 8 March 2006 (CET)

I'm against adding cruft. Can we display it only on the first page accessed I wonder? Midgley 00:36, 9 March 2006 (CET)
Unlikely. The 'disclaimers' link at the bottom of every page could be made more conspicuous if you want. It is technically possible to add a small disclaimer to the top of every page.--A.l.brown 02:37, 9 March 2006 (CET)
I would be perfectly happy if you made the link at the bottom more conspicuous. I would really like the line "If you are unwell and looking for advice please see your own doctor or contact emergency healthcare services as appropriate." down there too or something that means the same but is briefer.Mlj 23:12, 9 March 2006 (CET)
Done. This needs a hard change to the skins/MonoBook.php file, so if it disappears after an upgrade, remind me to do it again! ;-) --A.l.brown 14:44, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Well done Mlj 15:03, 11 March 2006 (CET)
Lets be more positive. I don't like instructions or requests that don't say why... I suggest prefacing the disclaimer link with "This is a medical textbook for doctors." One might even add (since we have two lines of small print) "... not medical advice for patients." Midgley 16:09, 11 March 2006 (CET)

Category Articles

I've noticed that we have divorced the main NSAID article from the category page. In some ways, it is much tidier, but there are already several category pages with substantial articles on.

What is the preferred method, e.g. should we stick with a nutrition article or put the article onto the currently non-existant Category:Nutrition Mark ong 02:03, 9 March 2006 (CET)

I suspect since we don't search the Category namespace we are going to have to consider moving all meaty Categories to their own page. I would much prefer moving categories into the general namespace for search purposes and would wish to use this as an arguement against those who say we should search for everything, rather than browse via categories if we wish too. It just doesn't work.Mlj 23:12, 9 March 2006 (CET)

I though the search was changed to include the Category space. Or am I wrong? Try searching for 'poisoning and overdose'. Mark ong

Definitely not as of this date. Only if you do a full search with category namespace ticked. I think it did at one stage. It certainly should be hard coded in as the category namespace search tickbox option works very well and includes the main namespace too as far as I can tellMlj 00:28, 12 March 2006 (CET)
I'm sure it is possible, but I can't for the life of me find where the setting is. Mediawiki id very difficult software to follow!!! I'll keep digging. --A.l.brown 13:51, 12 March 2006 (CET)
Add the following to LocalSettings.php:
$wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefault = array(
	NS_MAIN           => true,
	NS_CATEGORY       => true,
This code can be inserted anywhere after the line require_once( "includes/DefaultSettings.php" );', but is probably best inserted at the end although before the inclusion of extensions so it's not forgotten about when the wiki is upgraded. This looks like a hackish solution, but it is definitely the way this setting is meant to be altered. Rupert 10:04, 13 March 2006 (CET)
Thanks very much! I knew I'd seen it somewhere, but repeated scans of DefaultSettings.php made my eyes go funny. Array amended. --A.l.brown 13:22, 13 March 2006 (CET)
PS: It may be a bit hackish, but you should see how many other hacks and additions there are to our LocalSettings.php!!! --A.l.brown 13:23, 13 March 2006 (CET)
Is it the same on the dev wiki as the main wiki?
PPS: It doesn't work for some reason. :-/ --A.l.brown 13:35, 13 March 2006 (CET)
I've tried it on the dev wiki and it works. The only thing I can think of, and please don't be offended if you did remember (!), was that you possibly forgot to log-out? Rupert 21:39, 13 March 2006 (CET)
LOL! I hadn't logged out, but I have done and tried, and still not doing it for me! Try a search for 'virology' :-) --A.l.brown 09:36, 14 March 2006 (CET)
It's working fine for me! Rupert 11:08, 14 March 2006 (CET)
It's always worked for me. Didn't Adam change something when this was posted? I remember something being changed and it worked. Otherwise, could we use this as a work around to embed the entire category article into the non-category article? Mark ong 13:57, 14 March 2006 (CET)

The only problem with the {{Category: xxxxyyyzzz}} solution is that it doesn't solve the search problem as it only works one way (i.e. you can embed the text of a category article into a non-category article, but the search function doesn't treat the embedded text as being part of the non-category article).Mark ong

Just realised that my default search space now includes Category - must have set it to my default ages ago and not noticed.Mark ong
That snippet of code provided by Rupert has set it for you. --A.l.brown 15:15, 14 March 2006 (CET)
Mine seemed to search the category space before the code was added. Anyway, does this mean that we will be sticking with Category articles and having a redirect from the non-category article. For instance, what do we do with local anaesthetic/anaesthesia? (Don't you wish DNUK would let us take over the Medipedia forum?) Mark ong

Why publish? RIchard SMith's take on it in a slide presentation (which is free for borrowing). Midgley 00:10, 12 March 2006 (CET)