Wikipedia is a free, online encylcopedia. It was created by L. Sanger and J. Wales in 2001. [1] Wikipedia is different from other, traditional encylclopedias in that it allows anybody who has access to the internet to collaborate in its definitions. People can add to, or enhance, the existing definitions. They can also create entirely new entries. Wikipedia consists of over 2.3 million pages [2] and, in 2007, surpassed The Encyclopedia of Chinese Literature and Learning as the worlds largest encyclopedia. [3]

Wikipedia content

Each page adheres to a basic format. It consists of an introduction, a contents section, the main body of the text and a references section. A discussion area accompanies each page, where issues about the definition of the subject can resolved. The page also stores the revision history for the wiki subject. Because the site can be added to or changed by anybody, steps are taken to mediate any information added. The site is mediated by a few, specific members who check that that any information added is acceptable and correct. The English Wikipedia currently has 18 mediators. [4] In recent years there has been a trend for people to vandalise wikipedia pages, this has been termed wikicrime and has meant that certain pages have had to be locked at times to avoid the vandalism from occuring. Another interesting aspect of Wikipedia is that, due to its open license, anyone can freely re-use its content.[1]

Funding Wikipedia

Wikipedia is associated with the non-profit, Wikimedia Foundation [5]. It is supported by donations which it uses to run the Wikipedia along with its other affiliated Wiki projects.

How does it all work?


1. Wikipedia. (2001). Wikipedia. Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
2. Shiels, M. (2008). Wikipedia takes business approach . Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
3. Ferguson, N. (2011). Civilisation: Is the west history?. Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
4. Rohrer, F. (2011). Lost in Wikipedia. Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
5. Wikipedia. (2003). Wikimedia Foundation. Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
6. Wales, J. (2007). Jimmy Wales: How a ragtag band created Wikipedia . Available: Last accessed 8th March 2011.
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