CZ:Proposals/Standardizing the naming of biomedical articles.

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This proposal is set to become part of the style guide for the Health Science workgroup. The creation of such style guides is proposed in CZ:Proposals/Create workgroup style guides.

Complete explanation

This proposal concerns helping authors pick the best names for new pages.


The benefits of this are:

  1. Reduce the chance of two authors independently writing two articles in parallel on the same content but with different titles (lots of examples of this at WP).
  2. Offer standardized definitions of terms that can be used at the beginning of articles (this is facilitated by using template:MeSH)
  3. Anticipate common alternative terms that can be set up as redirects when the article is written. This will improve our searchability and intra-cz linking.
  4. Facilitate the linking to CZ from other biomedical databases when Web 2 arrives.


The first step is getting these instructions in front of authors at the time they are making new pages.

Can we do the following? Currently if you try to start a new page you will see the following text:

There is no page titled "concussion of brain". You can create this page.

Could we append this text with a link labeled:

Are you giving this page the best name?

This link would go to a page where all work groups could put their advice for naming. For example:

Health Sciences Workgroup

(CZ:Health Sciences Workgroup)

  • Please check your proposed title at the National Library of Medicine. This can be facilitated by installing a browser search plugins on your computer.
    • Search your term at MeSH. Here is a sample search for concussion of the brain at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) MeSH vocabulary.
    • Note that according to the National Library of Medicine, 'Brain concussion' is a better term and title. An alternative is 'cerebral concussion' which could be used as a redirect page to brain concussion in order to make your article easy to find.
  • Consider starting your article by quoting the definition of your term at MeSH. You can use the MeSH template to cite the MeSH definition. For example:
<ref>{{MeSH|Brain concussion}}</ref>

Eventually, this could be expanded other vocabularies (biomedical and otherwise). Other workgroups could put instructions on using their vocabularies here. For example, Botany could link instruct on using names from and Geography could encourage use of (sorry that I only know American examples).


Does anyone have suggestions for this proposal?

I think this will be needed - it's a minor problem now (but vasopressin and antidiuretic hormone started as duplicates). I think the process would be, when starting a new article, to suggest reading the policy advice (if any) given by the relevant workgroup. That advice would cover not only naming conventions but other conventions as well - like citation styles - in fact all the important things that it would be better if authors were aware of these earlier rather than later. That page might also give useful links to resources for new authors. We don't want to make starting articles too burdensome, but we do want to offer authors useful support. I would suggest that this proposal be worked up by first working up a page of advice to new authors in the Health Sciences Workgroup. Let that be a model for other workgroups. Gareth Leng 06:25, 29 February 2008 (CST)

I think that the proposal in its summary form on CZ:Proposals/Ad hoc is rather vague, and needs to be spelled out more carefully here on this page. --Larry Sanger 09:08, 14 February 2008 (CST)

This appears to be a subset of my proposal for style guides for each workgroup, where such things would be discussed. As such, we might kill this proposal and merge this specific idea about one workgroup into the style guide proposal, or just discuss this amongst the Health Sci. group? Robert, do you want to start a Health Science style guide with these ideas right now, and put a link on the HS home page? David E. Volk 09:30, 14 March 2008 (CDT)
I think folding this into Health Science style guide and killing the proposal here sounds like a good way to go. What is the next step? - Robert Badgett 04:57, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

Proposals System Navigation (advanced users only)

Proposal lists (some planned pages are still blank):