How Batea works
The Batea Chrome Extension lets you contribute clinically relevant portions of your browsing patterns to data scientists working with Wikipedia. Batea will start recording your browsing session once you visit a clinical site but ignore any other pages you visit. Your browsing data is recorded anonymously and is then combined with the data of other users to further protect your identity.
Batea is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation.
Once you visit a site that is on Batea’s list of clinical websites, the Batea icon will turn green. This indicates that Batea is recording your current browsing session.
One “browsing session” includes the clinical page as well as the browsing history leading to it, i.e., the original search term entered into a search engine (e.g. Google) and the sites you visit until you find the medical fact you want. Starting a new search or opening a completely new tab will ensure that Batea will stop recording.
You may stop recording a browsing session at any time. If Batea is recording your current session (indicated by the green icon), but you do not want to contribute your browsing data at the moment, you may cancel the contribution of that particular session by clicking the Batea icon and switching the toggle to the “off” position. Doing so will turn the Batea icon red.
Switching the toggle to the “off” position will cancel the upload of that particular browsing session to the Batea servers. This is to prevent you from accidentally sending us browsing data that is not relevant to the study.
Another feature of the Batea Chrome Extension is its Wikipedia Comment Form. You may give feedback on any Wikipedia page by selecting (highlighting) text in the article. A Comment Form will appear for your feedback. Once you click “submit,” your comments will be sent anonymously to the editors of Wikipedia.
The purpose of Batea is to improve clinical Wikipedia articles by understanding how well they are working for a large group of clinically sophisticated users (especially medical students). By combining their browsing patterns, we will be able to better describe how well Wikipedia is disseminating clinical information as a whole. Once the shortcomings are quantified and provided to current Wikipedia editors, the content of those articles will dramatically improve. This, in turn, will significantly raise the quality of clinical information available to everyone online.
Anonymous (and/or de-identified) data from Batea will be published to encourage analyses by other researchers. Making this data freely available helps cultivate academic innovations, which will improve healthcare literacy.
The protection of your private browsing is the primary design consideration for Batea. Only your clinical browsing patterns will be sent to the Batea servers, and only when you so choose.
The safeguards we have in place make our data collection safer, narrower, and more private than the data collection that is already done by the many private companies, e.g. Google and Facebook, who monitor the browsing patterns of millions of people. We only collect data that is pertinent to Batea, and do not disclose non-anonymize data to the public. The Batea study is also formally IRB-approved.
The idea for Batea arose from discussions between medical student Laura Arhio and DocGraph data journalist Fred Trotter. When she first started her studies at UT Houston Medical School, Laura found Wikipedia articles useful when looking up clinical information online. Wikipedia provided solid elementary overviews of the subjects she was studying and quick definitions of medical terminology. As she advanced in her studies, however, Wikipedia articles proved only intermittently helpful: still the most time-efficient resource for quick reminders of “simple” facts, Wikipedia often failed in providing clinical information of sufficient amount, or quality, for more advanced topics.
How to read the Batea icons
Once you install the Batea browser extension, you agree to anonymously donating specific portions of your clinical-related browsing data to researchers and the public.
You’ll know if your browsing session is being documented by the Batea icon in your search bar. It will turn green when it is collecting data. You may click the icon to prevent Batea from uploading data from that browsing session.
(Optional) Become a Batea Scholar
Batea Scholars help our research significantly by naming themselves and answering optional questions which will help us classify the data. Batea will de-identify and anonymize your browsing data before it is released to the public.
To become a Scholar visit your extension options page. You will be taken to a click-through consent process that explains more.
As a Scholar, you will have:
1. the option to promote yourself as a Batea Scholar (great for CVs, resumes, etc)
2. your name mentioned in data and research credits (you may opt-out of this)
2. ability to download and examine your own data
3. the opportunity to interact with the researchers about Batea