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The guidelines for medical entries state primary sources are not be used in the references, including "nearly all papers published in medical journals" Why is this?

asked 2016-02-11 12:43:04 -0500

updated 2016-02-11 13:05:42 -0500

In the “Editing Wikipedia articles on Medicine" pamphlet, it says “Don’t use these sources: Nearly all papers published in medical journals”. Please explain...

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answered 2016-02-11 12:43:42 -0500

updated 2016-02-11 13:06:40 -0500

The root of this lies in a community guideline governing medical claims (or claims related to human biology). You can read more about those guidelines online here: Identifying reliable sources (medicine)

The idea is to limit claims in the encyclopedia to those which have been reproduced and been sustained in the literature. A single study is thought to be too susceptible to sample biases, p-hacking, etc. to make a broad claim about human health in the encyclopedia. Literature and systematic reviews are preferred for most claims. That will exclude most articles in most medical journals, as the handout notes.

We recommend taking a close look at that guideline; it does a good job explaining why it is so strict, how to comply with it and how to assess sources. We've tried to give a quick guide in our handouts but that's the best way to see what the community expectations for health content are.

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Asked: 2016-02-11 12:43:04 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 11 '16