|What about Wikipedia?|
Background information for undergraduate research students
The Hawaiian word wiki means quick. On the Internet, a wiki is a collaborative Web site displaying the collective work of many authors. A wiki is something like a blog in structure and logic, but a work shared mutually by many editors. While a blog usually is edited by one person and does not allow visitors to change its content other than adding comments, a wiki allows a group of persons to edit, delete or modify content. There are hundreds of thousands of public and private wikis in use on the Internet.
Wikipedia is a wiki used to create a free, collaborative, international, multilingual encyclopedia on the Internet.
Today Wikipedia is not only the largest wiki on the Web, but also the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.
- It was started in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.
- The name wikipedia was coined by Larry Sanger as a mashup from the words wiki and encyclopedia.
- The Wikipedia organization celebrated its tenth anniversary on January 15, 2011.
- It is supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation.
Criticism of Wikipedia:
- It ranks eighth among all websites.
- It has 365 million readers.
- It's used by more than 40 percent of U.S. adults, who are more than 50 percent of adult Internet users. Some 70 percent of Internet users with college degrees use Wikipedia.
- It offers 17.6 million articles with 3.5 million in English.
- Its entries are written in 273 languages.
- It has more than 100,000 volunteer contributors around the world.
- Its nonprofit parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, has 50 staff members in San Francisco, California.
Wikipedia has rules and guidelines to prevent errors and bias in its entries:
While Wikipedia editors seek verifiability and a neutral point of view, its reliability and accuracy have been criticized. Critics say the online encyclopedia is biased and favors consensus over credentials among its editors and contributors. They see inconsistencies and undue emphasis on popular culture. It's susceptible to vandalism and the addition of unverified bad information. However, scholarly examination of Wikipedia has found that vandalism is corrected quickly. One investigation found that Wikipedia science articles were close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopedia Britannica with a similar error rate.
- emphasizing neutral points of view
- pushing for links to original sources like studies or news articles
- providing tools to flag articles that lack proper documentation
- granting the most reliable editors additional rights to review material before it's published.
[Source: Wikipedia entry on wikipedia, data reported on this page was retrieved 15 January 2011]
Learn more about Wikipedia:
- Wikipedia - the encyclopedia
- Wikipedia entry on wikipedia
- History of Wikipedia
- Google News - Wikipedia
- List of Wikipedia language editions
- Wikipedia - multilingual portal to all language editions
- How to edit a Wikipedia page
- Wikimedia Foundation
- Criticism of Wikipedia
- Academic studies about Wikipedia
- Wikipedia impact on culture
- List of online encyclopedias
- List of wikis
- How and why to start a wiki PDF
- How and why to start a blog PDF
- Download Adobe Reader
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