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Wikipedia: About

Wikipedia

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is one of the largest collaborative projects in history and the fifth most visited website in the world as of 2017. There are over 82,000 active contributors who volunteer their time to create new articles, edit and add up-to-date information on existing articles. Currently there are over 19 million articles in 299 different languages.

Wikipedia is a lot of things, but Wikipedia is not...


Wikipedia: Five Pillars

The fundamental principles of Wikipedia are summarized in 5 "pillars"

  1. Wikipedia is an Encyclopedia
  2. Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view (NPOV)
  3. Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute
  4. Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility
  5. Wikipedia has no firm rules. Be Bold

Reliability of Wikipedia

The reliability of Wikipedia is constantly discussed in the news, and while Wikipedia is arguably one of the greatest community built knowledge management systems of our time, it is not the most reliable source. In a 2005 Business Week article, Jimmy Wales states, "No, I don't think people should cite it, and I don't think people should cite Britannica, either... People shouldn't be citing encyclopedias in the first place. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias should...give good, solid background information to inform your studies for a deeper level." However, the benefits of Wikipedia should not be overshadowed based on that. Using Wikipedia as a tool for research can be incredibly beneficial. For more information check out the next tab.


 

A Brief History of Wikipedia