Related articles (multiple choice questions)

Last revised by Bahman Rasuli on 19 Oct 2020

Adding related articles to multiple choice questions is essential, not only in providing readers context and the ability for further reading but also to enable Radiopaedia to understand the context of the question and when to show it on article pages. 

The key to related articles is appreciating that each alternative needs to have a relevant related article. 

In many instances, that means that a single question will have 5 (4-6) related articles. Sometimes only a single related article will apply to all alternatives. 

One or multiple related articles?

Whether one or multiple related articles are needed depends on how the question is written.

If the question is about a single topic (example question 1 below), then generally it needs only one related article. 

Instead, if the questions ask you to choose between multiple topics as alternative answers (example question 2), then each alternative, including distractors, needs its own related articles. 

Another good way to decide if you need to link distractors to related articles is to ask yourself this:

"If I were to reach this question from the related article, would this give away the answer?"

If the answer is "yes", then add related articles for each distractor. 

Example questions: 
  • Question 1: Broca's area (Brodmann area 44) is located in what part of the brain?

Although this question has 5 alternatives, it requires only the related article: Broca's area

  • Question 2: Which is the largest lobe of the brain? 

Clearly, if reaching this question from the article on the frontal lobe, the answer would be obvious. Thus, it is important to include related articles for each alternative (in other words some folk will reach this question from the article on the parietal lobe). 

"Why do incorrect alternatives (distractors) also require related articles?" I hear you ask. 

Well, related articles have many functions: 

  1. provide further reading on the topic
  2. directly support the answer with appropriate references in the article
  3. link the multiple choice question to an article and therefore allow the question to inherit all sorts of attributes (e.g. system) and knowledge of where it fits into the greater scheme of things
  4. allow the question to be viewed from the related article

Thinking through the implications of point 3 and 4, if questions were to be only linked to the correct answer, then when answering questions from an article the answer may be obvious. 

Order of related articles

As a convention, please make the first related article the correct answer. 

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