From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the Internet encyclopedia. For other uses, see Wikipedia (disambiguation).For Wikipedia's non-encyclopedic visitor introduction, see Wikipedia:About. For the main page, see Main Page.[1]


[3] The logo of Wikipedia, a globe featuring glyphsfrom several writing systems

Screenshot [show]
Web address
Slogan The Free Encyclopedia that anyone can edit
Commercial? No
Type of site Internet encyclopedia
Registration Optional, but is required for certain tasks such as editing protected pages, creating pages in English Wikipedia and uploading files
Availablelanguage(s) 276 active editions (286 in total)
Users Over 71,000 active editors[1]
Content license CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0

Most text also dual-licensed underGFDL, media licensing varies.

Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by Jimmy WalesLarry Sanger[2]
Launched January 15, 2001 (12 years ago)
Alexa rank  6 (November 2013)[3]
Current status Active

Wikipedia ([4]i/ˌwɪkɨˈpdiə/ or [5]i/ˌwɪkiˈpdiə/ wik-i-pee-dee-ə) is a collaboratively editedmultilingualfree Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia's 30 million articles in 287 languages, including over 4.3 million in the English Wikipedia, are written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone having access to the site.[4] It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet,[5][6][7][8][9] ranking sixth globally among all websites on Alexa, and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide.[5][10]

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.[11] Sanger coined the name Wikipedia,[12] which is a portmanteauof wiki (a type of collaborative website, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick")[13] and encyclopedia.

Wikipedia's departure from the expert-driven style of encyclopedia-building and the presence of a large body of unacademic content have received extensive attention in print media. In 2006, Time magazine recognized Wikipedia's participation in the rapid growth of online collaboration and interaction by millions of people around the world, in addition to YouTubeRedditMySpace, and Facebook.[14] Wikipedia has also become known as a news source due to the rapid update of articles related to breaking news.[15][16][17]

The open nature of Wikipedia has led to concerns about the quality of writing,[18][19] the amount of vandalism,[20][21] and the accuracy of information. Some articles contain unverified or inconsistent information,[22] though a 2005 investigation in Nature showed that the science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica.[23]


  [hide*1 Nature


As the popular joke goes, 'The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work.'

—Miikka Ryökäs[24]


In a departure from the style of traditional encyclopedias, Wikipedia is open to outside editing. This means that, with the exception of particularly sensitive and/or vandalism-prone pages that are "protected" to some degree,[25] the reader of an article can edit the text without needing approval, doing so with a registered account or even anonymously. Different language editions modify this policy to some extent; for example, only registered users may create a new article in the English edition.[26] No article is considered to be owned by its creator or any other editor, nor is it vetted by any recognized authority. Instead, editors are supposed to agree on the content and structure of articles byconsensus.[27]

By default, an edit to an article becomes available immediately, prior to any review. As such, an article may contain inaccuracies, ideological biases, or even patent nonsense, until or unless another editor corrects the problem. Different language editions, each under separate administrative control, are free to modify this policy. For example, the German Wikipedia maintains "stable versions" of articles,[28] which have passed certain reviews. Following the protracted trials and community discussion, the "pending changes" system was introduced to English Wikipedia in December 2012.[29] Under this system, new users' edits to certain controversial or vandalism-prone articles would be "subject to review from an established Wikipedia editor before publication".

Contributors, whether registered or not, can take advantage of features available in the software that powers Wikipedia. The "History" page belonging to each article records every single past revision of the article, though a revision with libelous content, criminal threats or copyright infringements may be removed retroactively.[30] Editors can use this page to undo undesirable changes or restore lost content. The "Talk" page associated with each article helps coordinate work among multiple editors.[31] Importantly, editors may use the "Talk" page to reach consensus,[32]sometimes through the use of polling.

In addition, editors may view the most "recent changes" to the website, which are displayed in reverse chronology. Regular contributors often maintain a "watchlist" of articles of interest to them, in order to easily track recent changes to those articles. In language editions with many articles, editors tend to prefer the "watchlist" because the number of edits has become too large to follow in "recent changes". New page patrol is a process by which newly created articles are checked for obvious problems.[33] A frequently vandalized article can be semi-protected, allowing only well established users to edit it.[34] A particularly contentious article may be locked so that only administrators are able to make changes.[35]

Computer programs called bots have been used widely to perform simple and repetitive tasks, such as correcting common misspellings and stylistic issues, or to start articles such as geography entries in a standard format from statistical data.[36][37][38] There are also some bots designed to warn users making "undesirable" edits,[39] block on the creation of links to particular websites, and block on edits from particular accounts or IP address ranges. Bots on Wikipedia must be approved by administration prior to activation.[40]

Differences between edits are highlighted as shown. 
The editing interface of Wikipedia 

Organization of article pagesEdit

Articles in Wikipedia are loosely organized according to their development status and subject matter.[41] A new article often starts as a "stub", a very short page consisting of definitions and some links. On the other extreme, the most developed articles may be nominated for "featured article" status. One "featured article" per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia.[42][43] Researcher Giacomo Poderi found that articles tend to reach featured status via the intensive work of a few editors.[44] A 2010 study found unevenness in quality among featured articles and concluded that the community process is ineffective in assessing the quality of articles.[45] In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English-language Wikipediaintroduced an assessment scale against which the quality of articles is judged.[46]

A group of Wikipedia editors may form a WikiProject to focus their work on a specific topic area, using its associated discussion page to coordinate changes across multiple articles.


Main article: Vandalism on Wikipedia

Any edit that changes content in a way that deliberately compromises the integrity of Wikipedia is considered vandalism. The most common and obvious types of vandalism include insertion of obscenities and crude humor. Vandalism can also include advertising language, and other types of spam.[47] Sometimes editors commit vandalism by removing information or entirely blanking a given page. Less common types of vandalism, such as the deliberate addition of plausible but false information to an article, can be more difficult to detect. Vandals can introduce irrelevant formatting, modify page semantics such as the page's title or categorization, manipulate the underlying code of an article, or utilize images disruptively.[48]

Obvious vandalism is generally easy to remove from wiki articles; in practice, the median time to detect and fix vandalism is a few minutes.[20][21] However, in one high-profile incident in 2005, false information was introduced into the biography of American political figure John Seigenthaler and remained undetected for four months.[49] John Seigenthaler, the founding editorial director ofUSA Today and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, called Wikipedia co-founder Wales and asked whether he had any way of knowing who contributed the misinformation. Wales replied that he did not, although the perpetrator was eventually traced.[50][51] This incident led to policy changes on the site, specifically targeted at tightening up the verifiability of all biographical articles of living people.[52]

Rules and laws governing content and editor behaviorEdit

Content in Wikipedia is subject to the laws (in particular, the copyright laws) of the United States and of the US state of Florida, where the majority of Wikipedia's servers are located. Beyond legal matters, the editorial principles of Wikipedia are embodied in the "five pillars", and numerous policies and guidelines that are intended to shape the content appropriately. Even these rules are stored in wiki form, and Wikipedia editors as a community write and revise the website's policies and guidelines.[53] Editors can enforce rules by deleting or modifying non-compliant material. Originally, rules on the non-English editions of Wikipedia were based on a translation of the rules on the English Wikipedia. They have since diverged to some extent.

 ====English Wikipedia==== Main article: English Wikipedia[8]Main Page of the English Wikipedia[9]The mobile version of the English Wikipedia Main Page=====Content policies=====

According to the rules on the English Wikipedia, each entry in Wikipedia, to be worthy of inclusion, must be about a topic that isencyclopedic and is not a dictionary entry or dictionary-like.[54] A topic should also meet Wikipedia's standards of "notability",[55]which usually means that it must have received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources such as mainstream media or major academic journals that are independent of the subject of the topic. Further, Wikipedia intends to convey only knowledge that is already established and recognized.[56] It must not present new information or original research. A claim that is likely to be challenged requires a reference to a reliable source. Among Wikipedia editors, this is often phrased as "verifiability, not truth" to express the idea that the readers, not the encyclopedia, are ultimately responsible for checking the truthfulness of the articles and making their own interpretations.[57] This can lead to the removal of information that is valid, thus hindering inclusion of knowledge and growth of the encyclopedia.[58] Finally, Wikipedia must not take sides.[59] All opinions and viewpoints, if attributable to external sources, must enjoy an appropriate share of coverage within an article.[60] This is known as neutral point of view (NPOV).

Dispute resolutionEdit

Wikipedia has many methods of settling disputes. A "BOLD, revert, discuss" cycle sometimes occurs, in which an editor changes something, another editor reverts the change, and then the two editors discuss the issue on a talk page. When editors disregard this process – when a change is repeatedly done by one editor and then undone by another – an "edit war" may be asserted to have begun.[61] The provenance of this phrase "edit war" is unknown.[62]

In order to gain a broader community consensus, editors can raise issues at the Village Pump, or initiate a Request for Comment. An editor can report impolite, uncivil, or otherwise problematic communications with another editor via the "Wikiquette Assistance" noticeboard. [needs update] Such postings themselves have no binding or disciplinary power. Specialized forums exist for centralizing discussion on specific decisions, such as whether or not an article should be deleted. Mediation is sometimes used, although it has been deemed by some Wikipedians to be unhelpful for resolving particularly contentious disputes.[63]


The Arbitration Committee is the ultimate dispute resolution method. Although disputes usually arise from a disagreement between two opposing views on how articles should read, the Arbitration Committee explicitly refuses to directly rule on which view should be adopted. Statistical analyses suggest that the committee ignores the content of disputes and focuses on the way disputes are conducted instead,[64] functioning not so much to resolve disputes and make peace between conflicting editors, but to weed out problematic editors while allowing potentially productive editors back in to participate. Therefore, the committee does not dictate the content of articles, although it sometimes condemns content changes when it deems the new content violates Wikipedia policies (for example, if the new content is biased). Its remedies include cautions and probations (used in 63.2% of cases) and banning editors from articles (43.3%), subject matters (23.4%) or Wikipedia (15.7%). Complete bans from Wikipedia are largely limited to instances of impersonation and anti-social behavior. When conduct is not impersonation or anti-social, but rather anti-consensus or violating editing policies, warnings tend to be issued.[65]


One privacy concern in the case of Wikipedia is the right of a private citizen to remain private: to remain a "private citizen" rather than a "public figure" in the eyes of the law.[66] It is a battle between the right to be anonymous in cyberspace and the right to be anonymous in real life ("meatspace"). A particular problem occurs in the case of an individual who is relatively unimportant and for whom there exists a Wikipedia page against her or his wishes.

In January 2006, a German court ordered the German Wikipedia shut down within Germany because it stated the full name of Boris Floricic, aka "Tron", a deceased hacker. On February 9, 2006, the injunction against Wikimedia Deutschland was overturned, with the court rejecting the notion that Tron's right to privacy or that of his parents were being violated.[67]


Main article: Community of Wikipedia[10][11]Wikimania, an annual conference for users of Wikipedia and other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia's community has been described as cult-like,[68] although not always with entirely negative connotations,[69] and criticized for failing to accommodate inexperienced users.[70] The project's preference for cohesiveness, even if it requires compromise that includes disregard of credentials, has been referred to as "anti-elitism".[71]

Power structureEdit

The Wikipedia community has established "a bureaucracy of sorts", including "a clear power structure that gives volunteer administrators the authority to exercise editorial control".[72][73][74]

Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many levels of volunteer stewardship: this begins with "administrator",[75][76] a group of privileged users who have the ability to delete pages, lock articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes, and block users from editing. Despite the name, administrators are not supposed to enjoy any special privilege in decision-making; instead, their powers are mostly limited to making edits that have project-wide effects and thus are disallowed to ordinary editors, and to block users making disruptive edits (such as vandalism).[77][78] As the process of vetting potential Wikipedia administrators has become more rigorous, fewer editors are promoted to admin status than in years past.[79]


[12][13]Demographics of Wikipedia editors

Wikipedia does not require that its users provide identification.[80] However, as Wikipedia grew, "Who writes Wikipedia?" became one of the questions frequently asked on the project, often with a reference to other Web 2.0 projects such as Digg.[81] Wales once argued that only "a community ... a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers" makes the bulk of contributions to Wikipedia and that the project is therefore "much like any traditional organization". Wales performed a study finding that over 50% of all the edits were done by just 0.7% of the users (at the time: 524 people). This method of evaluating contributions was later disputed by Aaron Swartz, who noted that several articles he sampled had large portions of their content (measured by number of characters) contributed by users with low edit counts.[82] A 2007 study by researchers from Dartmouth College found that "anonymous and infrequent contributors to Wikipedia [...] are as reliable a source of knowledge as those contributors who register with the site".[83]

In 2003, economics PhD student Andrea Ciffolilli argued that the low transaction costs of participating in wiki software create a catalyst for collaborative development, and that such features as easy access to past versions of a page favor "creative construction" over "creative destruction".[84] In his 2008 book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, Zittrain cites Wikipedia's success as a case study in how open collaboration has fostered innovation on the web.[85] A 2008 study found that Wikipedians were less agreeable, open, and conscientious than others.[86][87] A 2009 study suggested there was "evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content".[88]

At OOPSLA 2009, Wikimedia chief technology officer and senior software architect Brion Vibber gave a presentation entitled "Community Performance Optimization: Making Your People Run as Smoothly as Your Site"[89] in which he discussed the challenges of handling the contributions from a large community and compared the process to that of software development.


 [14]Wikipedians and British Museum curators collaborate on the article Hoxne Hoard in June 2010.

Members of the community interact with each other predominantly via "talk" pages, which are wiki-edited pages that are associated with articles, as well as via talk pages that are specific to particular contributors, and talk pages that help run the site. These pages help the contributors reach consensus about what the contents of the articles should be, how the site's rules may change, and to take actions with respect to any problems within the community.[90]

The Wikipedia Signpost is the community newspaper on the English Wikipedia,[91] and was founded by Michael Snow, an administrator and the former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees.[92] It covers news and events from the site, as well as major events from other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikimedia Commons.[93]

Positive reinforcementEdit

Wikipedians sometimes award one another barnstars for good work. These personalized tokens of appreciation reveal a wide range of valued work extending far beyond simple editing to include social support, administrative actions, and types of articulation work. The barnstar phenomenon has been analyzed by researchers seeking to determine what implications it might have for other communities engaged in large-scale collaborations.[94]

New usersEdit

Up to sixty percent of Wikipedia's registered users never make another edit after their first 24 hours. Possible explanations are that such users register for only a single purpose, or are scared away by their experiences.[95] Goldman writes that editors who fail to comply with Wikipedia cultural rituals, such as signing talk pages, implicitly signal that they are Wikipedia outsiders, increasing the odds that Wikipedia insiders will target their contributions as a threat. Becoming a Wikipedia insider involves non-trivial costs: the contributor is expected to build a user page, learn Wikipedia-specific technological codes, submit to an arcane dispute resolution process, and learn a "baffling culture rich with in-jokes and insider references". Non-logged-in users are in some sense second-class citizens on Wikipedia,[96] as "participants are accredited by members of the wiki community, who have a vested interest in preserving the quality of the work product, on the basis of their ongoing participation",[97] but the contribution histories of IP addresses cannot necessarily with any certainty be credited to, or blamed upon, a particular user.

A 2009 study by Business Insider editor and journalist Henry Blodget[98] showed that in a random sample of articles most content in Wikipedia (measured by the amount of contributed text that survives to the latest sampled edit) is created by "outsiders" (users with low edit counts), while most editing and formatting is done by "insiders" (a select group of established users).


[15][16]Estimation of contributions shares from different regions in the world to different Wikipedia editions.

One study found that the contributor base to Wikipedia "was barely 13% women; the average age of a contributor was in the mid-20s". A 2011 study by researchers from University of Minnesota found that females comprised 16.1% of the 38,497 editors who started editing Wikipedia during 2009. [99] In a January 2011 New York Times article, Noam Cohen observed that just 13% of Wikipedia's contributors are female, according to a 2009 Wikimedia Foundation survey.[100] Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, hopes to see female editing contributions increase to twenty-five percent by 2015.[101] Linda Basch, president of the National Council for Research on Women, noted the contrast in these Wikipedia editor statistics with the percentage of women currently completing bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and PhD programs in the United States (all at rates of fifty percent or greater).[102]

In a research article published in PLoS ONE in 2012, Yasseri et al., based on the circadian patterns of editorial activities of the community, have estimated the share of contributions to different editions of Wikipedia from different regions of the world. For instance, it has been reported that edits from North America are limited to almost 50% in the English Wikipedia and this value decreases to twenty-five percent in simple English Wikipedia. The article also covers some other editions in different languages.[103] The Wikimedia Foundation hopes to increase the number of editors in the Global South to thirty-seven percent by 2015.[104]

Language editionsEdit

See also: List of Wikipedias[17][18]Percentage of all Wikipedia articles in English (red) and top ten largest language editions (blue). As of July 2007 less than 23% of Wikipedia articles are in English.

There are currently 285 language editions (or language versions) of Wikipedia; of these, eight have over one million articles each (English,DutchGermanFrenchSwedish WikipediaItalianSpanish, and Russian), five more have over 700,000 articles (PolishJapanese,Portuguese, and Chinese Wikipedia), 33 more have over 100,000 articles, and 73 more have over 10,000 articles.[105][106] The largest, the English Wikipedia, has over 4.3 million articles. As of June 2013, according to Alexa, the English subdomain (; English Wikipedia) receives approximately 56% of Wikipedia's cumulative traffic, with the remaining split among the other languages (Spanish: 9%; Japanese: 8%; Russian: 6%; German: 5%; French: 4%; Italian: 3%).[5] As of April 2013, the five largest language editions are (in order of article count) the EnglishGermanDutchFrench, and Italian Wikipedias.[107] The coexistence of multilingual content on Wikipedia is made possible by Unicode, whose support was first introduced into Wikipedia in January 2002 by Brion Vibber after he had similarly implemented the alphabet of Esperanto.[108][109]

Since Wikipedia is based on the Web and therefore worldwide, contributors of a same language edition may use different dialects or may come from different countries (as is the case for the English edition). These differences may lead to some conflicts over spelling differences (e.g. colour versus color)[110] or points of view.[111]

Though the various language editions are held to global policies such as "neutral point of view", they diverge on some points of policy and practice, most notably on whether images that are notlicensed freely may be used under a claim of fair use.[112][113][114]

Jimmy Wales has described Wikipedia as "an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language".[115]Though each language edition functions more or less independently, some efforts are made to supervise them all. They are coordinated in part by Meta-Wiki, the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki devoted to maintaining all of its projects (Wikipedia and others).[116] For instance, Meta-Wiki provides important statistics on all language editions of Wikipedia,[117] and it maintains a list of articles every Wikipedia should have.[118] The list concerns basic content by subject: biography, history, geography, society, culture, science, technology, and mathematics. As for the rest, it is not rare for articles strongly related to a particular language not to have counterparts in another edition. For example, articles about small towns in the United States might only be available in English, even when they meet notability criteria of other language Wikipedia projects.

Translated articles represent only a small portion of articles in most editions, in part because fully automated translation of articles is disallowed.[119] Articles available in more than one language may offer "interwiki links", which link to the counterpart articles in other editions.


Main article: History of Wikipedia[19][20]Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger[21][22]Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project, Nupedia.

Wikipedia began as a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000, under the ownership of Bomis, a web portal company. Its main figures were the Bomis CEO Jimmy Wales and Larry Sangereditor-in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was licensed initially under its own Nupedia Open Content License, switching to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia's founding at the urging ofRichard Stallman.[120] Sanger and Wales founded Wikipedia.[121][122] While Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia,[123][124] Sanger is credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal.[125] On January 10, 2001, Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a "feeder" project for Nupedia.[126]

Wikipedia was formally launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at,[127] and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[123] Wikipedia's policy of "neutral point-of-view"[128] was codified in its initial months. Otherwise, there were relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[123] Originally, Bomis intended to make Wikipedia a for profit business.[129]

Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot postings, and web search engine indexing. On August 8, 2001, Wikipedia had over 8,000 articles.[130] On September 25, 2001, Wikipedia had over 13,000 articles.[131] And by the end of 2001 it had grown to approximately 20,000 articles and 18 language editions. By late 2002, it had reached 26 language editions, 46 by the end of 2003, and 161 by the final days of 2004.[132]Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former's servers were taken down permanently in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. English Wikipedia passed the mark of two million articles on September 9, 2007, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, surpassing even the 1407Yongle Encyclopedia, which had held the record for 600 years.[133]

Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in Wikipedia, users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create the Enciclopedia Libre in February 2002.[134] These moves encouraged Wales to announce that Wikipedia would not display advertisements, and to change Wikipedia's domain from[135]

Though the English Wikipedia reached three million articles in August 2009, the growth of the edition, in terms of the numbers of articles and of contributors, appears to have peaked around early 2007.[136] Around 1,800 articles were added daily to the encyclopedia in 2006; by 2013 that average was roughly 800.[137] A team at the Palo Alto Research Center attributed this slowing of growth to the project's increasing exclusivity and resistance to change.[138] Others suggest that the growth is flattening naturally because articles that could be called "low-hanging fruit" – topics that clearly merit an article – have already been created and built up extensively.[139][140][141]

In November 2009, a researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain) found that the English Wikipedia had lost 49,000 editors during the first three months of 2009; in comparison, the project lost only 4,900 editors during the same period in 2008.[142][143] The Wall Street Journal cited the array of rules applied to editing and disputes related to such content among the reasons for this trend.[144] Wales disputed these claims in 2009, denying the decline and questioning the methodology of the study.[145] Two years later, Wales acknowledged the presence of a slight decline, noting a decrease from "a little more than 36,000 writers" in June 2010 to 35,800 in June 2011.[146] Nevertheless, in the same interview, he claimed the number of editors was "stable and sustainable". In July 2012, the Atlantic reported that the number of administrators is also in decline.[147]

[23][24]Wikipedia blackout protest against SOPAon January 18, 2012

In January 2007, Wikipedia entered for the first time the top-ten list of the most popular websites in the United States, according to comScoreNetworks. With 42.9 million unique visitors, Wikipedia was ranked number 9, surpassing the New York Times (#10) and Apple (#11). This marked a significant increase over January 2006, when the rank was number 33, with Wikipedia receiving around 18.3 million unique visitors.[148] As of June 2013, Wikipedia is the seventh most popular website worldwide according to Alexa Internet,[5] receiving more than 2.7 billion US pageviews every month,[149]out of a global monthly total of over 12 billion pageviews.[150]

On January 18, 2012, the English Wikipedia participated in a series of coordinated protests against two proposed laws in the United States Congress—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)—by blacking out its pages for 24 hours.[151] More than 162 million people viewed the blackout explanation page that temporarily replaced Wikipedia content.[152][153]

Loveland and Reagle argue that, in process, Wikipedia follows a long tradition of historical encyclopedias that accumulated improvements piecemeal through "stigmergic accumulation".[154][155]

Number of articles in the English Wikipedia (in blue) 
Growth of the number of articles in the English Wikipedia (in blue) 
Number of days between every 10,000,000th edit 

Analysis of contentEdit

See also: Academic studies about Wikipedia and Criticism of Wikipedia

Although poorly written articles are flagged for improvement,[156] critics note that the style and quality of individual articles may vary greatly. Others argue that inherent biases (willful or not) arise in the presentation of facts, especially controversial topics and public or historical figures. Although Wikipedia's stated mission is to provide information and not argue value judgements, articles often contain overly specialized, trivial, or objectionable material.[157]

In 2006, the Wikipedia Watch criticism website listed dozens of examples of plagiarism by Wikipedia editors on the English version.[158] Wales has said in this respect: "We need to deal with such activities with absolute harshness, no mercy, because this kind of plagiarism is 100% at odds with all of our core principles."[158]

Accuracy of contentEdit

Main article: Reliability of Wikipedia

Articles for traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica are carefully and deliberately written by experts, lending such encyclopedias a reputation for accuracy. Conversely, Wikipedia is often cited for factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations. However, a non-scientific report in the journal Nature in 2005 suggested that for some scientific articles Wikipedia came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors."[23] These claims have been disputed by, among others, Encyclopædia Britannica.[159][160]Although Nature gave a point by point rebuttal of Britannica's argument,[161] the Nature report did agree that the structure of Wikipedia's articles was often poor.

As a consequence of the open structure, Wikipedia "makes no guarantee of validity" of its content, since no one is ultimately responsible for any claims appearing in it.[162] Concerns have been raised[according to whom?] regarding the lack of accountability that results from users' anonymity,[163] the insertion of false information,[164] vandalism, and similar problems.

Economist Tyler Cowen wrote: "If I had to guess whether Wikipedia or the median refereed journal article on economics was more likely to be true, after a not so long think I would opt for Wikipedia." He comments that some traditional sources of non-fiction suffer from systemic biases and novel results, in his opinion, are over-reported in journal articles and relevant information is omitted from news reports. However, he also cautions that errors are frequently found on Internet sites, and that academics and experts must be vigilant in correcting them.[165]

Critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature and a lack of proper sources for most of the information makes it unreliable.[166] Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia may be reliable, but that the reliability of any given article is not clear.[167] Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project's utility and status as an encyclopedia.[168]

Wikipedia's open structure inherently makes it an easy target for Internet trollsspamming, and those with an agenda to push.[30][169] The addition of political spin to articles by organizations including members of the US House of Representatives and special interest groups[22] has been noted,[170] and organizations such as Microsoft have offered financial incentives to work on certain articles.[171] For example, in August 2007, the website WikiScanner began to trace the sources of changes made to Wikipedia by anonymous editors without Wikipedia accounts. The program revealed that many such edits were made by corporations or government agencies changing the content of articles related to them, their personnel or their work.[172] These issues have been parodied, notably by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.[173]

Quality of writingEdit

Because contributors usually rewrite small portions of an entry rather than making full-length revisions, high- and low-quality content may be intermingled within an entry. Roy Rosenzweig, a history professor, stated that American National Biography Online outperformed Wikipedia in terms of its "clear and engaging prose", which, he said, was an important aspect of good historical writing.[174] Contrasting Wikipedia's treatment of Abraham Lincoln to that of Civil War historian James McPherson in American National Biography Online, he said that both were essentially accurate and covered the major episodes in Lincoln's life, but praised "McPherson's richer contextualization [...] his artful use of quotations to capture Lincoln's voice [...] and [...] his ability to convey a profound message in a handful of words." By contrast, he gives an example of Wikipedia's prose that he finds "both verbose and dull". Rosenzweig also criticized the "waffling—encouraged by the npov policy—[which] means that it is hard to discern any overall interpretive stance in Wikipedia history". By example, he quoted the conclusion of Wikipedia's article onWilliam Clarke Quantrill. While generally praising the article, he pointed out its "waffling" conclusion: "Some historians [...] remember him as an opportunistic, bloodthirsty outlaw, while others continue to view him as a daring soldier and local folk hero."[174]

Other critics have made similar charges that, even if Wikipedia articles are factually accurate, they are often written in a poor, almost unreadable style. Frequent Wikipedia critic Andrew Orlowski commented: "Even when a Wikipedia entry is 100 per cent factually correct, and those facts have been carefully chosen, it all too often reads as if it has been translated from one language to another then into to a third, passing an illiterate translator at each stage."[175] A study of cancer articles by Yaacov Lawrence of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University found that the entries were mostly accurate, but they were written at college reading level, as opposed to the ninth grade level seen in the Physician Data Query. He said that "Wikipedia's lack of readability may reflect its varied origins and haphazard editing".[176] The Economist argued that better-written articles tend to be more reliable: "inelegant or ranting prose usually reflects muddled thoughts and incomplete information".[177]

Coverage of topics and systemic biasEdit

See also: Notability in English Wikipedia

Wikipedia seeks to create a summary of all human knowledge in the form of an online encyclopedia, with each topic of knowledge covered encyclopedically in one article. Since it has terabytes of disk space, it can have far more topics than can be covered by any conventional printed encyclopedia.[178] It also contains materials that some people may find objectionable, offensive, or pornographic (see further).[179] It was made clear that this policy is not up for debate, and the policy has sometimes proved controversial. For instance, in 2008, Wikipedia rejected an online petition against the inclusion of Muhammad's depictions in its English edition, citing this policy. The presence of politically, religiously, and pornographically sensitive materials in Wikipedia has led to the censorship of Wikipedia by national authorities in China,[180] Pakistan[181] and the United Kingdom,[182] among other countries. In addition, Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has criticized Wikipedia not for the pornographic content but for the fact that the content is accessible to children, and contains extreme and detailed photographs and films.[183]

A 2008 study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Palo Alto Research Center gave a distribution of topics as well as growth (from July 2006 to January 2008) in each field:[184]

[28][29]Pie chart of Wikipedia content by subject as of January 2008[184]*Culture and the arts: 30% (210%)

  • Biographies and persons: 15% (97%)
  • Geography and places: 14% (52%)
  • Society and social sciences: 12% (83%)
  • History and events: 11% (143%)
  • Natural and physical sciences: 9% (213%)
  • Technology and the applied sciences: 4% (−6%)
  • Religions and belief systems: 2% (38%)
  • Health: 2% (42%)
  • Mathematics and logic: 1% (146%)
  • Thought and philosophy: 1% (160%)

These numbers refer only to the quantity of articles: it is possible for one topic to contain a large number of short articles and another to contain a small number of large ones. Through its "Wikipedia Loves Libraries" program, Wikipedia has partnered with major public libraries such as the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to expand its coverage of underrepresented subjects and articles.[185]

A 2011 study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota examined the distribution of male and female editors within eight primary interest areas: Arts, Geography, Health, History, Science, People, Philosophy, and Religion. Each area’s gender distribution was then compared with the Wikipedia-wide one. The results indicated that male and female editors focus on different coverage topics. There was a greater concentration of females in the People and Arts category, while males focus more on Geography and Science.[186]

Furthermore, the exact coverage of Wikipedia is under constant review by the editors, and disagreements are not uncommon (see also deletionism and inclusionism).[187][188]

As of September 2009, Wikipedia articles cover about half a million places on Earth. However, research conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute has shown that the geographic distribution of articles is highly uneven. Most articles are written about North AmericaEurope, and East Asia, with very little coverage of large parts of the developing world, including most of Africa.[189]

When multiple editors contribute to one topic or set of topics, there may arise a systemic bias, such as non-opposite definitions for apparent antonyms. In 2011 Wales noted that the unevenness of coverage is a reflection of the demography of the editors, which predominantly consists of young males with high education levels in the developed world (cf previously).[146] Systemic bias on Wikipedia may follow that of culture generally, for example favouring certain ethnicities or majority religions.[190] It may more specifically follow the biases of Internet culture, inclining to being young, male, English speaking, educated, technologically aware, and wealthy enough to spare time for editing. Biases of its own may include over-emphasis on topics such as pop culture, technology, and current events.[190]

A "selection bias"[191] may arise when more words per article are devoted to one public figure than a rival public figure. Editors may dispute suspected biases and discuss controversial articles, sometimes at great length. Wales has noted the dangers of bias on controversial political topics or polarizing public figures.[192]

Citing WikipediaEdit

Main article: Reliability of Wikipedia

Most university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work, preferring primary sources;[193] some specifically prohibit Wikipedia citations.[194][195] Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate to use as citeable sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[196] Wales once said he receives about ten emailsweekly from students saying they got failing grades on papers because they cited Wikipedia; he told the students they got what they deserved. "For God's sake, you're in college; don't cite the encyclopedia", he said.[197]

In February 2007 an article in The Harvard Crimson newspaper reported that a few of the professors at Harvard University include Wikipedia in their syllabi, but that there is a split in their perception of using Wikipedia.[198] In June 2007 former president of the American Library Association Michael Gorman condemned Wikipedia, along with Google,[199] stating that academics who endorse the use of Wikipedia are "the intellectual equivalent of a dietitian who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything".

A Harvard law textbook, Legal Research in a Nutshell (2011), cites Wikipedia as a "general source" that "can be a real boon" in "coming up to speed in the law governing a situation" and, "while not authoritative, can provide basic facts as well as leads to more in-depth resources".[200]

Explicit contentEdit

Problem? What problem? So, you didn’t know that Wikipedia has a porn problem?

—Larry Sanger, [183]

Wikipedia has been criticized for allowing information of graphic content. Articles depicting arguably objectionable content (such as fecescorpses, the human penis or vulva) contain graphic pictures and detailed information easily available to anyone with access to the internet, including children.

The site also includes sexual content such as images and videos of masturbation and ejaculation as well as photos fromhardcore pornographic films in its articles.

The Wikipedia article about Virgin Killer – a 1976 album from German heavy metal band Scorpions – features a picture of the album's original cover, which depicts a naked prepubescent girl. The original release cover caused controversy and was replaced in some countries. In December 2008, access to the Wikipedia article Virgin Killer was blocked for four days by most Internet service providers in the United Kingdom, after it was reported by a member of the public as child pornography,[201] to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) which issues a stop list to Internet service providers. IWF, a non-profit, non-government-affiliated organization, later criticized the inclusion of the picture as "distasteful".[202]

In April 2010, Sanger wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlining his concerns that two categories of images on Wikimedia Commons contained child pornography, and were in violation of US federal obscenity law.[203] Sanger later clarified that the images, which were related to pedophilia and one about lolicon, were not of real children, but said that they constituted "obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children", under the PROTECT Act of 2003.[204] That law bans photographic child pornography and cartoon images and drawings of children that are obscene under American law.[204] Sanger also expressed concerns about access to the images on Wikipedia in schools.[205] Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh strongly rejected Sanger's accusation,[206] saying that Wikipedia did not have "material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it."[206] Following the complaint by Sanger, Wales deleted sexual images without consulting the community. After some editors who volunteer to maintain the site argued that the decision to delete had been made hastily, Wales voluntarily gave up some of the powers he had held up to that time as part of his co-founder status. He wrote in a message to the Wikimedia Foundation mailing-list that this action was "in the interest of encouraging this discussion to be about real philosophical/content issues, rather than be about me and how quickly I acted".[207]


Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia chaptersEdit

Main article: Wikimedia Foundation[30][31]Wikimedia Foundation logo

Wikipedia is hosted and funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which also operates Wikipedia-related projects such as Wiktionary andWikibooks. The Wikimedia Foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its mission.[208] The Wikimedia chapters, local associations of users and supporters of the Wikimedia projects, also participate in the promotion, development, and funding of the project.

Software and hardwareEdit

See also: MediaWiki

The operation of Wikipedia depends on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQLdatabase system.[209] The software incorporates programming features such as a macro languagevariables, a transclusion system for templates, and URL redirection. MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License and it is used by all Wikimedia projects, as well as many other wiki projects. Originally, Wikipedia ran on UseModWiki written in Perl by Clifford Adams (Phase I), which initially required CamelCase for article hyperlinks; the present double bracket style was incorporated later. Starting in January 2002 (Phase II), Wikipedia began running on a PHP wiki engine with a MySQL database; this software was custom-made for Wikipedia by Magnus Manske. The Phase II software was repeatedly modified to accommodate the exponentially increasing demand. In July 2002 (Phase III), Wikipedia shifted to the third-generation software, MediaWiki, originally written by Lee Daniel Crocker.

Several MediaWiki extensions are installed[210] to extend the functionality of the MediaWiki software.

In April 2005, a Lucene extension[211][212] was added to MediaWiki's built-in search and Wikipedia switched from MySQL to Lucene for searching. The site currently uses Lucene Search 2.1,[213]which is written in Java and based on Lucene library 2.3.[214]

In July 2013, after extensive beta testing, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) extension, VisualEditor, was opened to public use.[215][216][217][218] It was met with much rejection and criticism, and was described as "slow and buggy".[219] The feature was turned off afterward.

[32][33]Overview of system architecture, December 2010. See server layout diagrams on Meta-Wiki.

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second, depending on time of day.[220] Page requests are first passed to a front-end layer of Squid caching servers.[221] Further statistics are available based on a publicly available 3-months Wikipedia access trace.[222] Requests that cannot be served from the Squid cache are sent to load-balancing servers running the Linux Virtual Server software, which in turn pass the request to one of the Apache web servers for page rendering from the database. The web servers deliver pages as requested, performing page rendering for all the language editions of Wikipedia. To increase speed further, rendered pages are cached in a distributed memory cache until invalidated, allowing page rendering to be skipped entirely for most common page accesses.

Wikipedia employed a single server until 2004, when the server setup was expanded into a distributed multitier architecture. In January 2005, the project ran on 39 dedicated servers in Florida. This configuration included a single master database server running MySQL, multiple slave database servers, 21web servers running the Apache HTTP Server, and seven Squid cache servers. Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers (mainlyUbuntu),[223][224] with a few OpenSolaris machines for ZFS. As of December 2009, there were 300 in Florida and 44 in Amsterdam.[225]

Access to contentEdit

Content licensingEdit

When the project was started in 2001, all text in Wikipedia was covered by GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), a copyleft license permitting the redistribution, creation of derivative works, and commercial use of content while authors retain copyright of their work.[226] GFDL was created for software manuals that come with free software programs that are licensed under GPL. This made it a poor choice for a general reference work; for example, the GFDL requires the reprints of materials from Wikipedia to come with a full copy of the GFDL license text. In December 2002, the Creative Commons license was released: it was specifically designed for creative works in general, not just for software manuals. The license gained popularity among bloggers and others distributing creative works on the Web. The Wikipedia project sought the switch to the Creative Commons.[227] Because the two licenses, GFDL and Creative Commons, were incompatible, in November 2008, following the request of the project, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) released a new version of GFDL designed specifically to allow Wikipedia to relicense its content to CC BY-SA by August 1, 2009. (A new version of GFDL automatically covers Wikipedia contents.) In April 2009, Wikipedia and its sister projects held a community-wide referendum which decided the switch in June 2009.[228][229][230][231]

The handling of media files (e.g. image files) varies across language editions. Some language editions, such as the English Wikipedia, include non-free image files under fair use doctrine, while the others have opted not to, in part due to the lack of fair use doctrines in their home countries (e.g. in Japanese copyright law). Media files covered by free content licenses (e.g. Creative Commons' CC BY-SA) are shared across language editions via Wikimedia Commons repository, a project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia's accommodation of varying international copyright laws regarding images has led some to observe that its photographic coverage of topics lags behind the quality of the encyclopedic text.[232]

The Wikimedia Foundation is not a licensor of content, but merely a hosting service for the contributors (and licensors) of the Wikipedia. This position has been successfully defended in court.[233][234]

Methods of accessEdit

Because Wikipedia content is distributed under an open license, anyone can reuse or re-distribute it at no charge. The content of Wikipedia has been published in many forms, both online and offline, outside of the Wikipedia website.

  • Web sites – Thousands of "mirror sites" exist that republish content from Wikipedia: two prominent ones, that also include content from other reference sources, are Another example is Wapedia, which began to display Wikipedia content in a mobile-device-friendly format before Wikipedia itself did.
  • Mobile apps – A variety of mobile apps provide access to Wikipedia on hand-held devices, including both Android and iOS devices (see Wikipedia apps). (See also Mobile access.)
  • Search engines – Some web search engines make special use of Wikipedia content when displaying search results: examples include Bing (via technology gained from Powerset)[235] andDuck Duck Go.
  • Compact discs, DVDs – Collections of Wikipedia articles have been published on optical discs. An English version, 2006 Wikipedia CD Selection, contained about 2,000 articles.[236][237] The Polish-language version contains nearly 240,000 articles.[238] There are German and Spanish-language versions as well.[239][240] Also, "Wikipedia for Schools", the Wikipedia series of CDs / DVDs produced by Wikipedians and SOS Children, is a free, hand-checked, non-commercial selection from Wikipedia targeted around the UK National Curriculum and intended to be useful for much of the English-speaking world.[241] The project is available online; an equivalent print encyclopedia would require roughly 20 volumes.
  • Books – There are efforts to put a select subset of Wikipedia's articles into printed book form.[242][243] Since 2009, tens of thousands of print on demand books which reproduced English, German, Russian and French Wikipedia articles have been produced by the American company Books LLC and by three Mauritian subsidiaries of the German publisher VDM.[244]
  • Semantic Web – The website DBpedia, begun in 2007, is a project that extracts data from the infoboxes and category declarations of the English-language Wikipedia and makes it available in a queriable semantic format, RDF. The possibility has also been raised to have Wikipedia export its data directly in a semantic format, possibly by using the Semantic MediaWiki extension. Such an export of data could also help Wikipedia reuse its own data, both between articles on the same language Wikipedia and between different language Wikipedias.[245]

Obtaining the full contents of Wikipedia for reuse presents challenges, since direct cloning via a web crawler is discouraged.[246] Wikipedia publishes "dumps" of its contents, but these are text-only; as of 2007 there is no dump available of Wikipedia's images.[247]

Several languages of Wikipedia also maintain a reference desk, where volunteers answer questions from the general public. According to a study by Pnina Shachaf in the Journal of Documentation, the quality of the Wikipedia reference desk is comparable to a standard library reference desk, with an accuracy of 55%.[248]

Mobile accessEdit

See also: Help:Mobile access

Wikipedia's original medium was for users to read and edit content using any standard web browser through a fixed internet connection. In addition, Wikipedia content is now accessible through the mobile web.

Access to Wikipedia from mobile phones was possible as early as 2004, through the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), via the Wapedia service. In June 2007 Wikipedia, an official website for wireless devices. In 2009 a newer mobile service was officially released,[249] located at, which caters to more advanced mobile devices such as the iPhoneAndroid-based devices or WebOS-based devices. Several other methods of mobile access to Wikipedia have emerged. Many devices and applications optimise or enhance the display of Wikipedia content for mobile devices, while some also incorporate additional features such as use of Wikipedia metadata (See Wikipedia:Metadata), such asgeoinformation.[250][251]

Wikipedia Zero is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to expand the reach of the encyclopedia to the developing countries.[252]


Sister projects – WikimediaEdit

Main article: Wikimedia project

Wikipedia has also spawned several sister projects, which are also wikis run by the Wikimedia Foundation, also called Wikimedia projects: "In Memoriam: September 11 Wiki",[253] created in October 2002,[254] detailed the September 11 attacksWiktionary, a dictionary project, was launched in December 2002;[255] Wikiquote, a collection of quotations, created a week after Wikimedia launched, and Wikibooks, a collection of collaboratively written free textbooks and annotated texts. Wikimedia has since started a number of other projects, including: Wikimedia Commons, a site devoted to free-knowledge multimedia; Wikinews, for citizen journalism; and Wikiversity, a project for the creation of free learning materials and the provision of online learning activities.[256] Of these, only Commons has had success comparable to that of Wikipedia. Another sister project of Wikipedia, Wikispecies, is a catalogue of species. In 2012 Wikivoyage, an editable travel guide, launched.

Impact on publishingEdit

Some observers have stated that Wikipedia represents an economic threat to publishers of traditional encyclopedias, who may be unable to compete with a product that is essentially free.[257]Nicholas Carr wrote a 2005 essay, "The amorality of Web 2.0", that criticized websites with user-generated content, like Wikipedia, for possibly leading to professional (and, in his view, superior) content producers going out of business, because "free trumps quality all the time". Carr wrote: "Implicit in the ecstatic visions of Web 2.0 is the hegemony of the amateur. I for one can't imagine anything more frightening."[258] Others dispute the notion that Wikipedia, or similar efforts, will entirely displace traditional publications. For instance, Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, wrote in Nature that the "wisdom of crowds" approach of Wikipedia will not displace top scientific journals, with their rigorous peer review process.[259]

Cultural significanceEdit

Main article: Wikipedia in culture

In addition to logistic growth in the number of its articles,[260] Wikipedia has steadily gained status as a general reference website since its inception in 2001.[261] According to Alexa andcomScore, Wikipedia is among the ten most visited websites worldwide.[8][262] The growth of Wikipedia has been fueled by its dominant position in Google search results;[263] about 50% of search engine traffic to Wikipedia comes from Google,[264] a good portion of which is related to academic research.[265] The number of readers of Wikipedia worldwide reached 365 million at the end of 2009.[10] The Pew Internet and American Life project found that one third of US Internet users consulted Wikipedia.[266] In October 2006, the site was estimated to have a hypothetical market value of $580 million if it ran advertisements.[267]

Wikipedia's content has also been used in academic studies, books, conferences, and court cases.[268][269][270] The Parliament of Canada's website refers to Wikipedia's article on same-sex marriage in the "related links" section of its "further reading" list for the Civil Marriage Act.[271] The encyclopedia's assertions are increasingly used as a source by organizations such as the US federal courts and the World Intellectual Property Organization[272] – though mainly for supporting information rather than information decisive to a case.[273] Content appearing on Wikipedia has also been cited as a source and referenced in some US intelligence agency reports.[274] In December 2008, the scientific journal RNA Biology launched a new section for descriptions of families of RNA molecules and requires authors who contribute to the section to also submit a draft article on the RNA family for publication in Wikipedia.[275]

Wikipedia has also been used as a source in journalism,[276][277] often without attribution, and several reporters have been dismissed for plagiarizing from Wikipedia.[278][279][280]

In July 2007 Wikipedia was the focus of a 30-minute documentary on BBC Radio 4[281] which argued that, with increased usage and awareness, the number of references to Wikipedia in popular culture is such that the word is one of a select band of 21st-century nouns that are so familiar (Google, Facebook, YouTube) that they no longer need explanation and are on a par with such 20th-century words as hoovering or Coca-Cola.

On September 28, 2007, Italian politician Franco Grillini raised a parliamentary question with the minister of cultural resources and activities about the necessity of freedom of panorama. He said that the lack of such freedom forced Wikipedia, "the seventh most consulted website", to forbid all images of modern Italian buildings and art, and claimed this was hugely damaging to tourist revenues.[282]

[34][35]Jimmy Wales receiving the Quadriga A Mission of Enlightenment award.

On September 16, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Wikipedia had become a focal point in the 2008 US election campaign, saying: "Type a candidate's name into Google, and among the first results is a Wikipedia page, making those entries arguably as important as any ad in defining a candidate. Already, the presidential entries are being edited, dissected and debated countless times each day."[283] An October 2007 Reuters article, titled "Wikipedia page the latest status symbol", reported the recent phenomenon of how having a Wikipedia article vindicates one's notability.[284]

Active participation also has an impact. Law students have been assigned to write Wikipedia articles as an exercise in clear and succinct writing for an uninitiated audience.[285]


Wikipedia won two major awards in May 2004.[286] The first was a Golden Nica for Digital Communities of the annual Prix Ars Electronica contest; this came with a €10,000 (£6,588; $12,700) grant and an invitation to present at the PAE Cyberarts Festival in Austria later that year. The second was a Judges' Webby Award for the "community" category.[287] Wikipedia was also nominated for a "Best Practices" Webby award. On January 26, 2007, Wikipedia was also awarded the fourth highest brand ranking by the readers of “”, receiving 15% of the votes in answer to the question "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?"[288]

In September 2008, Wikipedia received Quadriga A Mission of Enlightenment award of Werkstatt Deutschland along with Boris TadićEckart Höfling, and Peter Gabriel. The award was presented to Wales by David Weinberger.[289]


See also category: Parodies of Wikipedia[36][37]Wikipedia shown in "Weird Al" Yankovic's music video for his song "White & Nerdy".

Many parody Wikipedia's openness and susceptibility to inserted inaccuracies, with characters vandalizing or modifying the online encyclopedia project's articles.

Comedian Stephen Colbert has parodied or referenced Wikipedia on numerous episodes of his show The Colbert Report and coined the related termwikiality, meaning "together we can create a reality that we all agree on—the reality we just agreed on".[173] Another example can be found in a front-page article in The Onion in July 2006, with the title "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years of American Independence".[290] "My Number One Doctor", a 2007 episode of the TV show Scrubs, played on the perception that Wikipedia is an unreliable reference tool with a scene in which Dr. Perry Cox reacts to a patient who says that a Wikipedia article indicates that the raw food diet reverses the effects of bone cancer by retorting that the same editor who wrote that article also wrote the Battlestar Galactica episode guide.[291]

In 2008, the comedic website CollegeHumor produced a video sketch named "Professor Wikipedia", in which the fictitious Professor Wikipedia instructs a class with a medley of unverifiable and occasionally absurd statements.[292]

The Dilbert comic strip from May 8, 2009, features a character supporting an improbable claim by saying "Give me ten minutes and then check Wikipedia."[293]

In July 2009, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a comedy series called Bigipedia, which was set on a website which was a parody of Wikipedia. Some of the sketches were directly inspired by Wikipedia and its articles.[294]

In 2010, comedian Daniel Tosh encouraged viewers of his show, Tosh.0, to visit the show's Wikipedia article and edit it at will. On a later episode, he commented on the edits to the article, most of them offensive, which had been made by the audience and had prompted the article to be locked from editing.[295][296]

On August 23, 2013, The New Yorker website published a cartoon with this caption: "Dammit, Manning, have you considered the pronoun war that this is going to start on your Wikipedia page?"[297]

Scientific useEdit

In computational linguisticsinformation retrieval and natural language processing, Wikipedia has seen widespread use as a corpus for linguistic research. In particular, it commonly serves as a target knowledge base for the entity linking problem, which is then called "wikification",[298] and to the related problem of word sense disambiguation.[299] Methods similar to wikification can in turn be used to find "missing" links in Wikipedia.[300]

Related projectsEdit

A number of interactive multimedia encyclopedias incorporating entries written by the public existed long before Wikipedia was founded. The first of these was the 1986 BBC Domesday Project, which included text (entered on BBC Micro computers) and photographs from over 1 million contributors in the UK, and covered the geography, art, and culture of the UK. This was the first interactive multimedia encyclopedia (and was also the first major multimedia document connected through internal links), with the majority of articles being accessible through an interactive map of the UK. The user interface and part of the content of the Domesday Project were emulated on a website until 2008.[301] One of the most successful early online encyclopedias incorporating entries by the public was h2g2, which was created by Douglas Adams. The h2g2 encyclopedia is relatively light-hearted, focusing on articles which are both witty and informative. Everything2 was created in 1998. All of these projects had similarities with Wikipedia, but were not wikis and neither gave full editorial privileges to public users.

GNE, an encyclopedia which was not a wiki, also created in January 2001, co-existed with Nupedia and Wikipedia early in its history; however, it has been retired.[120]

Other websites centered on collaborative knowledge base development have drawn inspiration from Wikipedia. Some, such as Susning.nuEnciclopedia LibreHudong, and Baidu Baike likewise employ no formal review process, although some like Conservapedia are not as open. Others use more traditional peer review, such as Encyclopedia of Life and the online wiki encyclopediasScholarpedia and Citizendium. The latter was started by Sanger in an attempt to create a reliable alternative to Wikipedia.[302][303] Scholarpedia also focuses on ensuring high quality.

See alsoEdit

[38] Internet portal

Special searches



  1. Jump up^ "Wikipedia Statistics - Tables - Active wikipedians". Retrieved 2013-07-04.
  2. Jump up^ Jonathan Sidener. "Everyone's Encyclopedia"U-T San Diego. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
  3. Jump up^ " Site Info"Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  4. Jump up^ "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales Speaks Out On China And Internet Freedom"Huffington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2011. "Currently Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter remain blocked in China"
  5. Jump up to:a b c d "Five-year Traffic Statistics for".Alexa Internet. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Bill Tancer (May 1, 2007). "Look Who's Using Wikipedia"Time. Retrieved December 1, 2007. "The sheer volume of content [...] is partly responsible for the site's dominance as an online reference. When compared to the top 3,200 educational reference sites in the US, Wikipedia is No. 1, capturing 24.3% of all visits to the category"Cf Bill Tancer (Global Manager, Hitwise),"Wikipedia, Search and School Homework"Hitwise, March 1, 2007.
  7. Jump up^ Alex Woodson (July 8, 2007). "Wikipedia remains go-to site for online news". Reuters. Retrieved December 16, 2007. "Online encyclopedia Wikipedia has added about 20 million unique monthly visitors in the past year, making it the top online news and information destination, according to Nielsen//NetRatings."
  8. Jump up to:a b "Top 500"Alexa. Retrieved October 13, 2009.
  9. Jump up^ "comScore MMX Ranks Top 50 US Web Properties for August 2012". comScore. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  10. Jump up to:a b Wikipedia's Evolving Impact, by Stuart West, slideshow presentation at TED2010.
  11. Jump up^ Mike Miliard (March 1, 2008). "Wikipediots: Who Are These Devoted, Even Obsessive Contributors to Wikipedia?".Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  12. Jump up^ How I started Wikipedia. Presentation by Larry Sanger.
  13. Jump up^ "Wiki" in the Hawaiian Dictionary, revised and enlarged edition, University of Hawaii Press, 1986
  14. Jump up^ Grossman, Lev (December 13, 2006). "Time's Person of the Year: You"Time (Time). Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  15. Jump up^ Jonathan Dee (July 1, 2007). "All the News That's Fit to Print Out"The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  16. Jump up^ Andrew Lih (April 16, 2004). "Wikipedia as Participatory Journalism: Reliable Sources? Metrics for Evaluating Collaborative Media as a News Resource" (PDF). 5th International Symposium on Online Journalism (University of Texas at Austin). Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  17. Jump up^ Mossop, Brian (August 10, 2012). "How Wikipedia Won Olympic Gold"Wired. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  18. Jump up^ Nichol, Mark. "Content Quality and Quantity Are the Cause of Wikipedia's Woes". Daily Writing Tips. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  19. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:About – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  20. Jump up to:a b Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, and Kushal Dave (2004). "Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with History Flow Visualizations" (PDF).Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (Vienna, Austria: ACM SIGCHI): 575–582. doi:10.1145/985921.985953ISBN 1-58113-702-8. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  21. Jump up to:a b Reid Priedhorsky, Jilin Chen, Shyong (Tony) K. Lam, Katherine Panciera, Loren Terveen, and John Riedl (GroupLens Research, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota) (November 4, 2007). "Creating, Destroying, and Restoring Value in Wikipedia" (PDF). Association for Computing MachineryGROUP '07 conference proceedings (Sanibel Island,Florida). Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  22. Jump up to:a b Ahrens, Frank (July 9, 2006). "Death by Wikipedia: The Kenneth Lay Chronicles"The Washington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2006.
  23. Jump up to:a b Jim Giles (December 2005). "Internet encyclopedias go head to head"Nature 438 (7070): 900–901.Bibcode:2005Natur.438..900Gdoi:10.1038/438900a.PMID 16355180. Note: The study (that was not in itself peer reviewed) was cited in several news articles; e.g.:
  24. Jump up^ Cohen, Noam (April 23, 2007). "The Latest on Virginia Tech, From Wikipedia"The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  25. Jump up^ Protection Policy
  26. Jump up^ Registration notes
  27. Jump up^ Ownership of articles
  28. Jump up^ Birken, P. (December 14, 2008). "Bericht Gesichtete Versionen" (in German). Wikide-l mailing list. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  29. Jump up^ Business Insider.
  30. Jump up to:a b Kleinz, Torsten (February 2005). "World of Knowledge" (PDF). Linux Magazine. Retrieved July 13, 2007. "The Wikipedia's open structure makes it a target for trolls and vandals who malevolently add incorrect information to articles, get other people tied up in endless discussions, and generally do everything to draw attention to themselves."
  31. Jump up^ Fernanda B. ViégasMartin M. Wattenberg, Jesse Kriss, Frank van Ham (January 3, 2007). Talk Before You Type: Coordination in Wikipedia (PDF). Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research. Retrieved June 27, 2008.
  32. Jump up^ Wikipedia:Consensus
  33. Jump up^ Wikipedia:New pages patrol
  34. Jump up^ English Wikipedia's semi-protection policy
  35. Jump up^ English Wikipedia's full protection policy
  36. Jump up^ Wikipedia Bot Information
  37. Jump up^ Daniel Nasaw (July 24, 2012). "Meet the 'bots' that edit Wikipedia". BBC News.
  38. Jump up^ Halliday, Josh; Arthur, Charles (July 26, 2012). "Boot up: The Wikipedia vandalism police, Apple analysts, and more"The Guardian. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  39. Jump up^ "Wikipedia signpost: Abuse Filter is enabled". English Wikipedia. March 23, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  40. Jump up^ Bot Policy
  41. Jump up^ Wikipedia:Categorization
  42. Jump up^ "Comparing featured article groups and revision patterns correlations in Wikipedia"First Monday. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  43. Jump up^ Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, and Matthew M. McKeon (July 22, 2007). The Hidden Order of Wikipedia(PDF). Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  44. Jump up^ Poderi, Giacomo, Wikipedia and the Featured Articles: How a Technological System Can Produce Best Quality Articles, Master thesis, University of Maastricht, October 2008.
  45. Jump up^ David Lindsey. "Evaluating quality control of Wikipedia's featured articles.". First Monday.
  46. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment". Retrieved October 28, 2007.
  47. Jump up^ Link spamming Wikipedia for profit (2011)
  48. Jump up^ "Vandalism". Wikipedia. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  49. Jump up^ Seigenthaler, John (November 29, 2005). "A False Wikipedia 'biography'"USA Today. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  50. Jump up^ Friedman, Thomas L. (2007). The World is FlatFarrar, Straus & Giroux. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-374-29278-2.
  51. Jump up^ Buchanan, Brian J. (November 17, 2006). "Founder shares cautionary tale of libel in cyberspace". Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  52. Jump up^ Helm, Burt (December 13, 2005). "Wikipedia: "A Work in Progress""Business Week. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  53. Jump up^ "Who's behind Wikipedia?"PC World. February 6, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  54. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:ISNOT". Retrieved April 1, 2010. "Wikipedia is not a dictionary, usage, or jargon guide."
  55. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Notability". Retrieved February 13, 2008. "A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject."
  56. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:No original research". Retrieved February 13, 2008. "Wikipedia does not publish original thought"
  57. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Verifiability". Retrieved February 13, 2008. "Material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source."
  58. Jump up^ Cohen, Noam (August 9, 2011). "For inclusive mission, Wikipedia is told that written word goes only so far".International Herald Tribune. p. 18. "In the case of dabba kali, a children's game played in the Indian state of Keralathere was a Wikipedia article in the local language,Malayalam, that included photos, a drawing, and a detailed description of the rules. but no sources to back up what was written. Other than, of course the 40 million people who played it as children. There is no doubt [...] that the article would have been deleted from English Wikipedia if it not had any sources to cite. Those are the rules of the game."
  59. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view". Retrieved February 13, 2008. "All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing significant views fairly, proportionately and without bias."
  60. Jump up^ Eric Haas (October 26, 2007). "Will Unethical Editing Destroy Wikipedia's Credibility?". AlterNet. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  61. Jump up^ Dispute Resolution
  62. Jump up^ Coldewey, Devin (June 21, 2012). "Wikipedia is editorial warzone, says study"TechnologyNBC News. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  63. Jump up^ Mediation on Wikipedia
  64. Jump up^ Hoffman, David A., Mehra, Salil K. (2009). Wikitruth through Wikiorder (PDF) 59 (1). Emory Law Journal. p. 181.
  65. Jump up^ Hoffman, David A., Mehra, Salil K. (2009). Wikitruth through Wikiorder (PDF) 59 (1). Emory Law Journal. pp. 151–210
  66. Jump up^ See "Libel" by David McHam for the legal distinction
  67. Jump up^ Heise – Gericht weist einstweilige Verfügung gegen Wikimedia Deutschland ab[Update], by Torsten Kleinz, February 9, 2006.
  68. Jump up^ Arthur, Charles (December 15, 2005). "Log on and join in, but beware the web cults"The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  69. Jump up^ Lu Stout, Kristie (August 4, 2003). "Wikipedia: The know-it-all Web site". CNN. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  70. Jump up^ Wikinfo (January 22, 2012). "Critical views of Wikipedia".Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  71. Jump up^ Larry Sanger (December 31, 2004). "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism"Kuro5hin, Op–Ed. "There is a certain mindset associated with unmoderated Usenet groups [...] that infects the collectively-managed Wikipedia project: if you react strongly to trolling, that reflects poorly on you, not (necessarily) on the troll. If you [...] demand that something be done about constant disruption by trollish behavior, the other listmembers will cry "censorship," attack you, and even come to the defense of the troll. [...] The root problem: anti-elitism, or lack of respect for expertise. There is a deeper problem [...] which explains both of the above-elaborated problems. Namely, as a community, Wikipedia lacks the habit or tradition of respect for expertise. As a community, far from being elitist, it is anti-elitist (which, in this context, means that expertise is not accorded any special respect, and snubs and disrespect of expertise is tolerated). This is one of my failures: a policy that I attempted to institute in Wikipedia's first year, but for which I did not muster adequate support, was the policy of respecting and deferring politely to experts. (Those who were there will, I hope, remember that I tried very hard.)"
  72. Jump up^ Hafner, Kate (June 17, 2006). "Growing Wikipedia Refines Its 'Anyone Can Edit' Policy"The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  73. Jump up^ Corner, Stuart (June 18, 2006). "What's all the fuss about Wikipedia?". iT Wire. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  74. Jump up^ Wilson, Chris (February 22, 2008). "The Wisdom of the Chaperones"Slate. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  75. Jump up^ Wikipedia:Administrators
  76. Jump up^ Mehegan, David (February 13, 2006). "Many contributors, common cause"Boston Globe. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  77. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Administrators". Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  78. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:RfA_Review/Reflect". Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  79. Jump up^ Meyer, Robinson (July 16, 2012). "3 Charts That Show How Wikipedia Is Running Out of Admins"The Atlantic. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  80. Jump up^ Jean Goodwin (2009). "The Authority of Wikipedia". Retrieved January 31, 2011. "Wikipedia's commitment to anonymity/pseudonymity thus imposes a sort of epistemic agnosticism on its readers"
  81. Jump up^ Kittur, Aniket. "Power of the Few vs. Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie" (PDF).Viktoria Institute. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  82. Jump up^ Swartz, Aaron (September 4, 2006). "Raw Thought: Who Writes Wikipedia?". Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  83. Jump up^ "Wikipedia "Good Samaritans" Are on the Money".Scientific American. October 19, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  84. Jump up^ Andrea Ciffolilli, "Phantom authority, self-selective recruitment and retention of members in virtual communities: The case of Wikipedia"First MondayDecember 2003.
  85. Jump up^ Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It – Chapter 6: The Lessons of Wikipedia. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12487-3. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  86. Jump up^ Yair Amichai–Hamburger, Naama Lamdan, Rinat Madiel, Tsahi Hayat, Personality Characteristics of Wikipedia MembersCyberPsychology & Behavior, December 1, 2008, 11 (6): 679–681; doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.0225.
  87. Jump up^ "Wikipedians are 'closed' and 'disagreeable'"New Scientist. Retrieved July 13, 2010. (Subscription required.)
  88. Jump up^ Giles, Jim (August 4, 2009). "After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust?"New Scientist.
  89. Jump up^ "InfoQ". InfoQ. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  90. Jump up^ Help:Using talk pages – "A talk page (also known as a discussion page) is a page which editors can use to discuss improvements to an article or other Wikipedia page." Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  91. Jump up^ "The Wikipedia Signpost". Wikipedia. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
  92. Jump up^ Cohen, Noam (March 5, 2007). "A Contributor to Wikipedia Has His Fictional Side"The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
  93. Jump up^ Rubel, Steve (December 19, 2005). "Ten More Wikipedia Hacks"WebProNews. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
  94. Jump up^ T. Kriplean, I. Beschastnikh et al. (2008). "Articulations of wikiwork"Articulations of wikiwork: uncovering valued work in Wikipedia through barnstars. Proceedings of the ACM. p. 47. doi:10.1145/1460563.1460573ISBN 978-1-60558-007-4
  95. Jump up^ Panciera, Katherine (2009). Wikipedians Are Born, Not Made. Association for Computing Machinery, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work. pp. 51, 59
  96. Jump up^ Goldman, Eric. Wikipedia's Labor Squeeze and its Consequences 8. Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law
  97. Jump up^ Noveck, Beth Simone. Wikipedia and the Future of Legal Education 57. Journal of Legal Education
  98. Jump up^ Blodget, Henry (January 3, 2009). "Who The Hell Writes Wikipedia, Anyway?"Business Insider. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  99. Jump up^ Lam, Shyong; Anuradha Uduwage, Zhenhua Dong, Shilad Sen, David R. Musicant, Loren Terveen, John Riedl (3-5)."WP: Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Imblance"WikiSym 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  100. Jump up^ Cohen, Noam. "Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List"The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  101. Jump up^ Chom, Noam (January 31, 2011). "Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia's Contributor List"The New York Times. p. B–1. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  102. Jump up^ Basch, Linda (February 6, 2011). "Male-Dominated Web Site Seeking Female Experts" (Letters to the Editor). The New York Times. p. WK–7. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  103. Jump up^ Taha Yasseri, Robert Sumi, János Kertész (January 17, 2012). "Circadian Patterns of Wikipedia Editorial Activity: A Demographic Analysis"PLoS ONE. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  104. Jump up^ "Wikimedia Foundation 2011–12 Annual Plan" (PDF). Wikimedia Foundation. p. 8.
  105. Jump up^ "Statistics"English Wikipedia. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  106. Jump up^ List of Wikipedias
  107. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:List of Wikipedias". English Wikipedia. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  108. Jump up^ "Interview with Brion Vibber, the WMF's first employee".The Signpost. Wikipedia. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  109. Jump up^ Chuck Smith. "Unicoding the Esperanto Wikipedia (Part 3 of 4)"Esperanto Language Blog. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  110. Jump up^ "Spelling"Manual of Style. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
  111. Jump up^ "Countering systemic bias". Retrieved May 19, 2007.
  112. Jump up^ "Fair use". Meta-Wiki. Retrieved July 14, 2007.
  113. Jump up^ "Images on Wikipedia". Retrieved July 14, 2007.
  114. Jump up^ Fernanda B. Viégas (January 3, 2007). The Visual Side of Wikipedia (PDF). Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  115. Jump up^ Jimmy Wales"Wikipedia is an encyclopedia", March 8, 2005, <>
  116. Jump up^ "Meta-Wiki". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
  117. Jump up^ "Meta-Wiki Statistics". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
  118. Jump up^ "List of articles every Wikipedia should have". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
  119. Jump up^ "Wikipedia: Translation"English Wikipedia. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
  120. Jump up to:a b Richard M. Stallman (June 20, 2007). "The Free Encyclopedia Project". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  121. Jump up^ Jonathan Sidener (December 6, 2004). "Everyone's Encyclopedia"U-T San Diego. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
  122. Jump up^ Meyers, Peter (September 20, 2001). "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You"The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2007. "'I can start an article that will consist of one paragraph, and then a real expert will come along and add three paragraphs and clean up my one paragraph,' said Larry Sanger of Las Vegas, who founded Wikipedia with Mr. Wales."
  123. Jump up to:a b c Sanger, Larry (April 18, 2005). "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir"Slashdot. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  124. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (January 17, 2001). "Wikipedia Is Up!". Archived from the original on May 6, 2001. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  125. Jump up^ "Wikipedia-l: LinkBacks?". Retrieved February 20, 2007.
  126. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (January 10, 2001). "Let's Make a Wiki". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on April 14, 2003. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  127. Jump up^ "Wikipedia: HomePage". Archived from the original on March 31, 2001. Retrieved March 31, 2001.
  128. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia (January 21, 2007).
  129. Jump up^ Finkelstein, Seth (2008-09-25). "Read me first: Wikipedia isn't about human potential, whatever Wales says". London: The Guardian.
  130. Jump up^ Wikipedia, August 8, 2001
  131. Jump up^ Wikipedia, September 25, 2001
  132. Jump up^ "Multilingual statistics"Wikipedia. March 30, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  133. Jump up^ "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries". Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed. 18. 2007. pp. 257–286.
  134. Jump up^ "[long Enciclopedia Libre: msg#00008"]. Osdir. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  135. Jump up^ Clay Shirky (February 28, 2008). Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. The Penguin Press via Amazon Online Reader. p. 273. ISBN 1-59420-153-6. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  136. Jump up^ Bobbie Johnson (August 12, 2009). "Wikipedia approaches its limits"The Guardian (London). Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  137. Jump up^ Wikipedia:Modelling_Wikipedia_extended_growth
  138. Jump up^ "The Singularity is Not Near: Slowing Growth of Wikipedia". The International Symposium on Wikis. Orlando, Florida. 2009.
  139. Jump up^ Evgeny Morozov (November/December 2009). "Edit This Page; Is it the end of Wikipedia". Boston Review.
  140. Jump up^ Cohen, Noam (March 28, 2009). "Wikipedia – Exploring Fact City"The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  141. Jump up^ Austin Gibbons, David Vetrano, Susan Biancani (2012).Wikipedia: Nowhere to grow [39]
  142. Jump up^ Jenny Kleeman (November 26, 2009). "Wikipedia falling victim to a war of words"The Guardian (London). Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  143. Jump up^ Wikipedia: A quantitative analysis (PDF).
  144. Jump up^ Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages, The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2009.
  145. Jump up^ Barnett, Emma (November 26, 2009). "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales denies site is 'losing' thousands of volunteer editors"The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  146. Jump up to:a b Kevin Rawlinson (August 8, 2011). "Wikipedia seeks women to balance its 'geeky' editors"The Independent. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  147. Jump up^ "3 Charts That Show How Wikipedia Is Running Out of Admins"The Atlantic. July 16, 2012.
  148. Jump up^ "Wikipedia Breaks Into US Top 10 Sites". PCWorld. February 17, 2007.
  149. Jump up^ Walk, Hunter (February 5, 2011). "Please Read: A Personal Appeal To Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  150. Jump up^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Wikipedia Page Views Per Country". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  151. Jump up^ Netburn, Deborah (January 19, 2012). "Wikipedia: SOPA protest led 8 million to look up reps in Congress"Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  152. Jump up^ "Wikipedia joins blackout protest at US anti-piracy moves". BBC News. January 18, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  153. Jump up^ "SOPA/Blackoutpage". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  154. Jump up^ Jeff Loveland and Joseph Reagle (January 15, 2013)."Wikipedia and encyclopedic production. New Media & Society. Sage Journals"New Media & Society.doi:10.1177/1461444812470428.
  155. Jump up^ Rebecca J. Rosen (Jan 30, 2013). "What If the Great Wikipedia 'Revolution' Was Actually a Reversion? • The Atlantic". Retrieved 9 Feb, 2013.
  156. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem/Poorly written – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  157. Jump up^ "Abstracts Database – National Criminal Justice Reference Service". National Criminal Justice Reference Service, USA. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  158. Jump up to:a b "Plagiarism by Wikipedia editors". Wikipedia Watch. October 27, 2006. Archived from the original on November 25, 2009.
  159. Jump up^ Fatally Flawed: Refuting the recent study on encyclopedic accuracy by the journal Nature, Encyclopædia Britannica, March 2006
  160. Jump up^ "Encyclopaedia Britannica and Nature: a response"(PDF). Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  161. Jump up^ "Nature's responses to Encyclopaedia Britannica".Nature. March 30, 2006. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  162. Jump up^ "Wikipedia:General disclaimer". English Wikipedia. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  163. Jump up^ Public Information Research, Wikipedia Watch
  164. Jump up^ Raphel, JR. "The 15 Biggest Wikipedia Blunders"PC World. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  165. Jump up^ Cowen, Tyler (March 14, 2008). "Cooked Books"The New Republic. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  166. Jump up^ Stacy Schiff (July 31, 2006). "Know It All". The New Yorker.
  167. Jump up^ Danah Boyd (January 4, 2005). "Academia and Wikipedia"Many 2 Many: A Group Weblog on Social Software. Corante. Retrieved December 18, 2008. "[The author, Danah Boyd, describes herself as] an expert on social media[,] [...] a doctoral student in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley [,] and a fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet & Society [at Harvard Law School.]"
  168. Jump up^ Robert McHenry"The Faith-Based Encyclopedia"Tech Central Station, November 15, 2004.
  169. Jump up^ "Toward a New Compendium of Knowledge (longer version)"Citizendium. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  170. Jump up^ Kane, Margaret (January 30, 2006). "Politicians notice Wikipedia". CNET. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  171. Jump up^ Bergstein, Brian (January 23, 2007). "Microsoft offers cash for Wikipedia edit". MSNBC. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  172. Jump up^ Hafner, Katie (August 19, 2007). "Seeing Corporate Fingerprints From the Editing of Wikipedia"The New York Times. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  173. Jump up to:a b Stephen Colbert (July 30, 2006). "Wikiality". Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  174. Jump up to:a b Roy Rosenzweig (June 2006). "Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past"The Journal of American History 93 (1): 117–146.doi:10.2307/4486062. Retrieved August 11, 2006. (Center for History and New Media.)
  175. Jump up^ Andrew Orlowski (October 18, 2005). "Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems"The Register. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  176. Jump up^ "Wikipedia cancer information accurate"UPI. June 4, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  177. Jump up^ "Fact or fiction? Wikipedia's variety of contributors is not only a strength"The Economist. March 10, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  178. Jump up^ Wikipedia:PAPER
  179. Jump up^ "Wikipedia is not censored". Wikipedia. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  180. Jump up^ Sophie Taylor (April 5, 2008). "China allows access to English Wikipedia". Reuters. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  181. Jump up^ Bruilliard, Karin (May 21, 2010). "Pakistan blocks YouTube a day after shutdown of Facebook over Muhammad issue"The Washington Post. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  182. Jump up^ "Wikipedia child image censored". BBC News. December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  183. Jump up to:a b Sanger, Larry. "What should we do about Wikipedia's porn problem?". Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  184. Jump up to:a b Kittur, A., Chi, E. H., and Suh, B. 2009. What’s in Wikipedia? Mapping Topics and Conflict Using Socially Annotated Category Structure. In Proceedings of the 27th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, April 4 – 9, 2009). CHI '09. ACM, New York, USA, 1509–1512.
  185. Jump up^ Petrusich, Amanda (October 20, 2011). "Wikipedia's Deep Dive Into a Library Collection"The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  186. Jump up^ Lam, Shyong; Anuradha Uduwage, Zhenhua Dong, Shilad Sen, David R. Musicant, Loren Teveen, John Riedl (3-5)."WP: Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Imblance"WikiSym 2011: 4.
  187. Jump up^ "The battle for Wikipedia's soul"The Economist. March 6, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  188. Jump up^ Douglas, Ian (November 10, 2007). "Wikipedia: an online encyclopedia torn apart"The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  189. Jump up^ "Mapping the Geographies of Wikipedia Content"Mark Graham Oxford Internet Institute. ZeroGeography. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
  190. Jump up to:a b Quilter, Laura (October 24, 2012). "Systemic Bias in Wikipedia: What It Looks Like, and How to Deal with It". University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  191. Jump up^ Casari, Marco; Ham, John C.; Kagel, John H. (2007). "Selection Bias, Demographic Effects, and Ability Effects in Common Value Auction Experiments". American Economic Review 97 (4): 1278–1304. doi:10.1257/aer.97.4.1278.JSTOR 30034092.
  192. Jump up^ "Talk:James Delingpole/Archive 1 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". English Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  193. Jump up^ "Wide World of Wikipedia". The Emory Wheel. April 21, 2006. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
  194. Jump up^ Waters, N. L. (2007). "Why you can't cite Wikipedia in my class". Communications of the ACM 50 (9): 15.doi:10.1145/1284621.1284635. edit
  195. Jump up^ Jaschik, Scott (January 26, 2007). "A Stand Against Wikipedia". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  196. Jump up^ Helm, Burt (December 14, 2005). "Wikipedia: "A Work in Progress""Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved January 29, 2007.
  197. Jump up^ "Jimmy Wales", Biography Resource Center Online. (Gale, 2006.)
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  199. Jump up^ Chloe Stothart, Web threatens learning ethosThe Times Higher Education Supplement, 2007, 1799 (June 22), page 2
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