is a wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...
of veterinary content, run using the MediaWiki
MediaWiki is a popular free web-based wiki software application. Developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, it is used to run all of its projects, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikinews. Numerous other wikis around the world also use it to power their websites...
software. The project is a collaborative initiative involving UK veterinary school
A veterinary school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, which is involved in the education of veterinarians. To become a veterinarian one must first complete a veterinary degree A veterinary school should not be confused with a department of animal science...
s with external support. It is creating a comprehensive online knowledge base which aims to cover the entire veterinary curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...
, and will provide a reliable reference source for veterinary students, nurses
Paraveterinary workers are those people who assist a veterinarian in the performance of their duties. The job role varies throughout the world, and common titles include veterinary nurse, veterinary technician, veterinary assistant and veterinary technologist, and variants with the prefix of...
and graduates anywhere in the world.
Veterinary students and academic staff were familiar with e-learning
E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The information and communication systems, whether networked learning or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process...
as a medium to complement traditional teaching as part of a blended learning approach. With the rapid growth of material on the web, it was increasingly difficult to find appropriate content which had been peer reviewed. This lack of signposting resulted in students and staff wasting time searching for reliable material. WikiVet was developed to provide a trustworthy site for peer reviewed material.
A feature of WikiVet is the level of cooperation involved between academics
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...
at different schools and direct involvement of students. The project grew out of existing collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...
s between veterinary schools, and over 40 student authors have worked, or are working, together writing most of the content which is then reviewed by recent graduates and/or experts in a specific field.
Although WikiVet is created in a similar way to Wikipedia, there are three distinct differences between the two. Apart from the content relating specifically to the veterinary curriculum, all articles are peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...
ed by subject specialists, and access to the majority of the site is restricted to the veterinary community. This ensures accuracy of information and reflects the sensitive nature of much of the content.
The WikiVet project started in April 2007, and initially involved academics from Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...
and the Royal Veterinary College
The Royal Veterinary College is a veterinary school located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. The RVC was founded in 1791 and joined the University of London in 1949...
. The initial funding was provided by JISC
JISC is a United Kingdom non-departmental public body whose role is to support post-16 and higher education and research by providing leadership in the use of ICT in learning, teaching, research and administration...
The Higher Education Academy is an independent organisation in the United Kingdom that supports higher education institutions with strategies for the development of research and evaluation to improve the learning experience for students.-History:...
. The first stage involved the creation of WikiPath which covering only the veterinary pathology
Veterinary pathologists are doctors of veterinary medicine who specialize in the diagnosis of diseases through the examination of animal tissue and body fluids. Like medical pathology, veterinary pathology is divided into two branches, anatomical pathology and clinical pathology. Veterinary...
undergraduate curriculum. This has subsequently been extended to include WikiAnatomy and Physiology, WikiBlood, WikiBugs, WikiVPH, WikiClinical and more.
In 2008 the Nottingham Veterinary School
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...
joined the project and the site was expanded to cover most of the curriculum, including new sections on WikiNormals and WikiDrugs.
In January 2009 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom. Established in 1844 by Royal Charter, its statutory duties are laid out in the 1966 Veterinary Surgeons Act.-Role:...
Trust provided funding to cover the development of an interactive question bank called WikiQuiz.
Pfizer, Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The company is based in New York City, New York with its research headquarters in Groton, Connecticut, United States...
are funding the WikiVet site development and sponsoring the WikiMaster from 2009 - 2014.
A new section relating to specifically to donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...
s started to be developed in Autumn 2009, with the content being provided, and sponsored by, The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary is a British charitable organization devoted to the welfare of donkeys. The charity, which is based near Sidmouth in Devon, England, was founded in 1969. It is one of the largest equine charities in the world with an annual income and expenditure of £22 million.- History...
. Also in 2009, WikiSnakes and WikiLizards sections started to be developed.
Restructure to improve the user-friendliness of the hole site was started and we hope for it to be finished soon. This will make it easier to use the search function and get to the topic of interest fast. Categories are being used to allow for navigation via different routes. The work is to continue in 2011.
Snakes and Lizard sections are completed now.
A new collaboration with CABI
has allowed links to CABIAbstracts
literature search to be inserted on many pages. Some direct links to full text articles have also been included. The full text articles can be accessed by any WikiVet user but the literature search is only accessible via CABI subscribing organisation or personal subscription.
Restructuring the site work continues.
A new function has been added to allow users to view pages in PDF format or create their personal 'book' to print.
WikiVet is easily accessible from anywhere with internet access, allowing worldwide access by veterinary students and practitioners, providing both enrichment of existing teaching resources and improved learning opportunities for students.