WikiVet.Net is a Web site and Community of Practice developed by MediaWiki--the same software as Wikipedia but focused solely on veterinary medicine and with a more robust quality control system (, 2008).

For example:

  • The content is peer-reviewed by veterinary graduates, residents and subject specialists from vet schools.
  • Access to the majority of articles is restricted to the veterinary community. Only chosen peer-reviewed articles are publicly visible. Non-reviewed articles are visible only to users with accounts and they are marked as: ‘This article has not yet been peer-reviewed.’
  • Only veterinary students, faculty and recognized veterinary graduates may create an account and work on content.
  • It is equipped with numerous interactive WikiQuizzes, Flash Cards, Content Map, interactive Case Studies and interactive radiographs. has very fast and dynamic development as the picture below illustrates.WikiVet Timeline

WikiVet.Net started as a joint initiative among four UK veterinary schools (Cambridge, Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College and the Nottingham Veterinary School) with funding from theEA and JISC.

The plan was to develop a wiki community to support undergraduate veterinary education with these features (Brown, Quentin-Baxter, Belshaw, 2010):

  • Comprehensive, activity-rich and quality-assured
  • Easy to edit/repurpose and expandable
  • Student-led, pedagogically sound and self-sustaining (affordable)
  • Potential for international participation: multilingual.
  • Able to prepare students for lifelong learning within diverse veterinary fields and  promote ‘global animal health’

Platform. Mediawiki was chosen as a platform because it could meet those requirements and most students and faculty are familiar with the look and features of Wikipedia.

Goal. The collaborators were interested in more affordable methods of sharing and organizing resources that would enable them to increase knowledge production while benefiting students and improving pedagogy and overall quality of their educational programs.  Wiki is used primarily as  a learning tool (not as a textbook).

Context. Because an enormous amount of information is available (, . . . ), students do not have enough time and skills to fully benefit from that data. Therefore, easy-to-use peer-reviewed content, WikiVet educational activates and a community of practice help lead to desired learning outcomes. At the same time, students are converted into experienced experts able to utilize available data. Furthermore, there is a huge amount of potentially useful data (stored on CDs, hard drives . . . ) that is not easily accessible.  Through WikiVet, a significant part of that data can be reused.

Costs. An initial investment of $36,500 (23,000 GBP) was enough to create more than 2,000 interactive wiki pages. In addition, collaborative wiki development is shown to be an extremely valuable learning experience.  That is an excellent value for the money (Brown, Quentin-Baxter, Belshaw, 2010). During the first half of 2010, the Pfizer Global Alliances provided 3 years funding for WikiVet (WikiVet.Net, 2010). With that support, WikiVet will employ a project coordinator and significantly increase production.  In August 2010 WikiVet had 3,494 articles.

Team. WikiVet has about 45 contributors, 7,000 registered users and about 250 new registrations per week (WikiVet.Net statistic, 2010). Most contributors were very collaborative and productive.  However, it took some time to learn how to work together (student-student, student-reviewer), and how to combine information from various sources.  Wiki as a tool for collaborative work with numerous updates is very helpful in those situations.

Management and Authorship. The editorial board was composed of community of practice members. The board has the duty to regulate content and resolve eventual disputes. Participants learned about the wiki structure, templates and practices through face-to-face workshops. The face-to-face meetings let team members meet each other, which is beneficial for future online collaboration.  Students with leadership abilities have become ‘wikimasters.’ Their task was to motivate and manage work of other students.

Structure & Process. Content is organized in eight major sections:

  • Pathology (WikiPath)
  • Anatomy and physiology (WikiAnt)
  • Blood and immunology (WikiBlood)
  • Bacteriology, virology and parasitology (WikiBugs)
  • Veterinary public health (WikiVPH)
  • Normal hematology, biochemistry and physiological parameters (WikiNormals)
  • Pharmacology and therapeutics (WikiDrugs)
  • Clinical information (WikiClinical).

Initial peer-review is made by students, after which staff specialists do final review.  Content not reviewed is visible to logged-in members, but a stage of development is clearly noted at the top of each page.

Copyright and Intellectual Property Right.  Community of practice has created agreements for collaboration and exploration. According to those agreements, all materials are owned by the contributing institution and licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Future.  WikiVet is a work in progress. WikiVet protocols, network and outcomes are still developing. They are developing quickly, results are impressive and the network includes not just numerous veterinary schools, but Pfizer. 
Proof that WikiVet is on its way to global success is its partnership with Pfizer,  one of world’s leading pharmaceutical companies skilled in using enterprise 2.0 tools (, 2009) such as  Pfizerpedia (internal wiki), discussion forums, blogs, RSS feeds, OneNoteSharePoint, and tags.


. WikiVet.Net Homepage

WikiQuiz - example of a question + feedback

Flash Cards