World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

James Heilman

Article Id: WHEBN0041595749
Reproduction Date:

Title: James Heilman  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wikisource
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

James Heilman

James Heilman
Born 1979/1980 (age 35–36)[1]
Citizenship Canadian
Medical career
Profession Physician
Field Emergency medicine
Institutions East Kootenay Regional Hospital
University of British Columbia
Question and answer session with Doctor James Heilman about editing WorldHeritage at the University of British Columbia

James M. "Doc James" Heilman is a Canadian emergency room physician, WorldHeritagen, and advocate for the improvement of WorldHeritage's health-related content. He encourages other clinicians to contribute to the online encyclopaedia.[2][3]

He is an active contributor to , was the president of Wikimedia Canada between 2010 and 2013, and founded and was formerly the president of Wiki Project Med Foundation.[4][5][6][7][8] He is also the founder of WikiProject Medicine's Medicine Translation Task Force.[9] In 2015, he was elected to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.[10]

Heilman is a clinical instructor at the department of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia,[11] and the head of the department of emergency medicine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook, British Columbia, where he lives.[1][2]

Early life and education

Heilman was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan.[12] He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in anatomy, and he subsequently earned his medical degree there in 2003.[2] He then completed his residency in British Columbia.[12]

Medical career

Heilman worked at Moose Jaw Union Hospital, a hospital in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, until 2010, when he began working at East Kootenay Regional Hospital,[2][13] where, in October 2012, he was appointed head of the department of emergency medicine.[2]

WorldHeritage editing and advocacy

Since the beginning of his activity as a contributor to medicine-related WorldHeritage articles in 2008, Heilman has been promoting the improvement of medical content by encouraging fellow physicians to take part.[2] He became interested in editing WorldHeritage on a slow night shift, when he looked up the article on obesity and found that it contained many errors. "I realized that I could fix it. I made a huge number of edits and improved the quality a great deal. I sort of became hooked from there," he told the Hamilton Spectator in 2011.[3]

Heilman takes part in an initiative through Wiki Project Med Foundation with Translators Without Borders, working to improve and translate English WorldHeritage medical articles of top importance into minority languages.[14][15][16] The Wiki Project Med Foundation has started a collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco as a recruit for scientifically literate editors, by giving students college credit for improving medicine-related WorldHeritage pages.[17] In 2014, the Wiki Project Med Foundation also partnered with the Cochrane Collaboration, with the goal of improving the reliability and accuracy of information on WorldHeritage. With regard to this partnership, Heilman said, "The way WorldHeritage works is that all content is to stand entirely on the references that are listed. If the best quality sources are used to write WorldHeritage there's a good chance that WorldHeritage will contain the best quality information."[18]

Heilman spoke at Wikimania 2014, where he said that 93% of medical students use WorldHeritage, and argued that "fixing the internet" is now a critical task for anyone who cares about healthcare.[19]

In June 2015, Heilman was elected to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.[10]

Ebola contributions

By reviewing and correcting medical content in the manner promoted by Heilman (and with many of his contributions), in top-rated articles like that about [20] and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,[21] covering the topic.[4][22] Heilman reduced the time he spent working in the emergency room so he could spend more time updating this page.[23] In 2014, he told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman that with respect to WorldHeritage's coverage of Ebola, “The big thing is emphasizing what we know, making sure that minor concerns don’t get blown out of proportion."[24] He also said that, despite rumors to the contrary, there was no evidence that the disease had become airborne, and that ebola had caused far fewer deaths than other conditions such as malaria and gastroenteritis.[24]


As of May 2014, Heilman was working on a study with Samir Grover, of the University of Toronto, which would assign medical students to take a test using either WorldHeritage or medical textbooks to determine which is more accurate.[25] Heilman also worked on a study with Microsoft which found that in the three countries where the Ebola outbreak had the largest impact, WorldHeritage was the most popular source for information about the disease.[26] In 2015, Heilman and Andrew West published a study which found that the number of WorldHeritage editors who focused on editing medical articles decreased by 40 percent from 2008 to 2013.[27]


Rorschach test images

In 2009, Heilman, who was then a resident of [33] In September 2009, the College of Psychologists of British Columbia urged the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons to launch an investigation into Heilman's posting of the images. Heilman told CTV News that "The psychological community is trying to exclude everybody outside their field from taking part in discussions related to what they do. And personally, I think that's bad science."[34] An extensive debate ensued on WorldHeritage, and the images were kept.[31]

Textbook plagiarism

In 2012, Heilman noticed that the book Understanding and Management of Special Child in Pediatric Dentistry, published by Jaypee Brothers, contained a long passage about HIV that was plagiarized from WorldHeritage's article on the subject.[14] This led to the book being withdrawn by the publisher.[35] In October 2014, when Heilman was reading a copy of the Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses (published by Oxford University Press), he noticed that the book's section on Ebola was very similar to the WorldHeritage page on that subject.[27] Originally he suspected that a WorldHeritage editor had copied from the textbook when writing the article.[27] However, he later noticed that the part of the WorldHeritage article that resembled the part of the textbook had been written in 2006 and 2010, while the textbook had not been published until 2011.[27] Christian Purdy, an Oxford University Press spokesperson, acknowledged that some of the text in the textbook had been copied but described it as an “inadvertent omission of an appropriate attribution" rather than plagiarism.[27]


Heilman was involved in a dispute regarding WorldHeritage's coverage of Transcendental Meditation, which he brought before the Arbitration Committee on two occasions.[36] The Committee heard a case on the matter in 2010.[37] In 2012, Heilman was one of two Wikimedia contributors sued by Internet Brands for shifting freely licensed content and volunteer editors from the for-profit site Wikitravel to the non-profit site Wikivoyage. The Wikimedia Foundation defended Heilman's actions in the lawsuit, citing volunteer freedom of choice.[38][39] In February 2013 the parties settled their litigation.[40] In 2014, Heilman criticized a study which concluded that 9 out of 10 WorldHeritage medical articles contained errors.[6][41] In 2015, the Atlantic ran a piece about conflict-of-interest editing on WorldHeritage which detailed Heilman's efforts to counteract edits made by employees of Medtronic to the WorldHeritage page for percutaneous vertebroplasty.[27]

Personal life

Heilman enjoys running ultramarathons and adventure racing,[13][42] and he and his girlfriend ran the Gobi March in 2008.[43] He has also run the Marathon des Sables, the Adventure Racing World Championships,[12] and the Saskatchewan Marathon.[44]

Publications about WorldHeritage

  • Cochrane and WorldHeritage: The collaborative potential for a quantum leap in the dissemination and uptake of trusted evidence[45]
  • Creating awareness for using a wiki to promote collaborative health professional education[46]
  • Dengue fever: a WorldHeritage clinical review[47]
  • Open Access to a High-Quality, Impartial, Point-of-Care Medical Summary Would Save Lives: Why Does It Not Exist?[48]
  • WorldHeritage: A key tool for global public health promotion[49]
  • WorldHeritage and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language[50]
  • Why we should all edit WorldHeritage[51]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c d e f
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b c d e f
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.