Consumer Reports Appoints Lane Rasberry as Wikipedian in Residence

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Consumer Reports announces Lane Rasberry as the organization's first Wikipedian in Residence.

YONKERS, NY - Consumer Reports is pleased to announce Lane Rasberry as the organization’s first Wikipedian in Residence.    Mr. Rasberry, a Wikipedia expert, will support Consumer Reports’ exploration of shared opportunities involving the world’s most widely-viewed, general information resource that was founded on principles of neutrality, openness, and public service. He will focus primarily on sharing evidence-based consumer health information to support “Choosing Wisely,” an initiative led by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports.

Mr. Rasberry will also assist Consumer Reports in understanding how patients use Wikipedia to get information on which they base decisions about the risks and benefits of health procedures. Initially, his efforts will focus on improving the quality of consumer health information on Wikipedia in support of “Choosing Wisely,” which aims to provide evidence-based information about medical tests, treatments, and procedures to both physicians and consumers.

This initiative is part of the ABIM Foundation’s goal of promoting wise choices by clinicians in order to improve health-care outcomes, provide patient-centered care that avoids unnecessary and even harmful interventions, and reduce the rapidly-expanding costs of the health care system. This initiative is built on a coalition model, with experts on both consumer issues and medical science working together for the public good. With the addition of the Wikipedian in Residence position, Wikipedia editors will have the opportunity to collaborate with Consumer Reports and over two dozen partner organizations including over nine leading specialty medical societies involved in “Choosing Wisely”.

Mr. Rasberry has been an active Wikipedia contributor since 2008, contributing to health articles, participating in various outreach programs, and working with health providers to explore how Wikipedia relates to their work. This has included conducting clinical research for the University of Washington, serving on the HIV Vaccine Trials Network’s community advisory board, and promoting open access to biomedical research through the Open Science Federation. Mr. Rasberry’s interests include access to health information in India─where he is a member of two NGOs─and human subject research ethics.

The Wikipedian in Residence position at Consumer Reports, along with related efforts to engage with Wikipedia, was established with the assistance of Pete Forsyth of Wiki Strategies.

“The Choosing Wisely” initiative shares important values with Wikipedia─a dedication to sharing evidence-based, scientific information free of the influence of special interests, and a collaborative process,” said Mr. Forsyth. “Lane Rasberry’s extensive background in both Wikipedia editing and clinical research will serve the project well.”

“I look forward to helping medical experts and Wikipedia volunteers work together toward common goals and learn from one another’s experience,” said Mr. Rasberry.

The Wikipedian in Residence model was established in 2010 at the British Museum, and has been implemented at world-class museums and archives.

The ethical issues faced in science are inextricably linked with the ethics of publication and journalism. Wikipedia represents a new approach to mission-driven publication, while Consumer Reports has deep expertise in this area through its decades of work in the public interest. Through collaboration, both organizations hope to gain new insights and capabilities.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

MAY 2012
© 2012 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®,® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

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Melissa Valentino
Consumer Reports
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