Article Text

#FOAMed errors: does the opportunity for speedy resolution outweigh the risk of rapid dissemination?
  1. Simon Carley, Associate Editor1,2
  1. 1 Emergency Medicine, Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Medicine, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Campus, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Simon Carley, Emergency Medicine, Manchester Metropolitan University - All Saints Campus, Manchester M15 6BH, UK; arleys{at}

Statistics from

Edwards and Roland report an interesting natural experiment in the role of knowledge dissemination in the era of social media and free open access medical education (#FOAMed).1 In the opinion of many emergency medicine educationalists, #FOAMed resources are challenging and changing our traditional models of sharing knowledge through publications such as the EMJ.2

The paper reports on two inadvertent publication errors on a UK #FOAMed blog. These were rapidly disseminated through social media to thousands of recipients in a very short space of time. Although the errors were unlikely to result in significant patient harm, the implication is that potentially harmful information might be inadvertently disseminated across a wide audience and with little control from the authors. In other words, the oft-stated advantages of online publication, those of speed, amplification and reach, are also factors that might disseminate incorrect or even harmful content to a much wider audience than traditional …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles