- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For Wikipedia's main table of contents, see Wikipedia:Contents

Wikipedia (IPA: /ˌwiːkiːˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwɪːkiːˈpiːdi.ə/) is a multilingual, Web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers; its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Web site. The name is a blend of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Its primary servers are in Tampa, Florida, with additional servers in Amsterdam and Seoul.

Wikipedia was launched as the English Wikipedia on January 15, 2001, as a complement to Nupedia, an expert-written and now defunct encyclopedia. The project is now operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Jimmy Wales, and has over six million articles in 250 languages,[1] including 1.6 million in the English edition. Wikipedia has steadily risen in popularity since its inception[3] and currently ranks among the twelve most-visited websites worldwide.[4]

Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy have been questioned.[5] The site has also been criticised for its susceptibility to vandalism,[6] uneven quality, systemic bias and inconsistencies,[7] and for favouring consensus over credentials in its editorial process.[8] Wikipedia's content policies[9] and sub-projects set up by contributors seek to address these concerns.[10] Two scholarly studies have concluded that vandalism is generally short-lived[11] and that Wikipedia is roughly as accurate as other online encyclopedias.[12]



Image depicting the linking characteristics of a wiki; pages are linked extensively, which allows the user to traverse a pathway of related articles.
Image depicting the linking characteristics of a wiki; pages are linked extensively, which allows the user to traverse a pathway of related articles.

Wikipedia uses wiki software to allow multiple authors to edit the encyclopedia simultaneously and to archive their changes in a database. Relevant articles may be found by following hyperlinks from one article to another, in the same way as cross-references in traditional works. Wikipedia also has its own topical organization; articles are grouped into a searchable category system[13] analogous to the Outline of Knowledge found in the Propædia of the Encyclopædia Britannica, except that it is not strictly hierarchical. Wikipedia also has portals intended to provide readers with an overview of a topic.[14]


Editorial process

Those who would like to contribute are encouraged to create a user account, which allows them to create new articles, move and retitle articles, and store user preferences. However, authors may also edit anonymously; in such cases, their IP address is recorded as the author name.[15] Past edits to Wikipedia articles are retained, and remain viewable through "edit history" pages sorted chronologically, making it possible to see former versions of any page at any time.

Editors keep track of changes to articles by checking the difference between two revisions of a page - known as "diffs"; changes between two versions are shown in red.
Editors keep track of changes to articles by checking the difference between two revisions of a page - known as "diffs"; changes between two versions are shown in red.

Changes to Wikipedia are made available immediately on the Web, without formal peer review. Wikipedia's philosophy is that unmoderated collaboration among well-meaning, informed editors will gradually improve the encyclopedia in its breadth, depth and accuracy, and that, given enough time, the truth will win out and even subtle errors will be caught and corrected.[16] Thus, Wikipedia allows almost anyone to edit, except for users banned for persistent malfeasance after a lengthy arbitration process. Similarly, almost every article can be edited; editing is sometimes temporarily disabled for a small number of articles due to persistent vandalism or unresolved disputes among contributors. Wikipedia has not declared any of its articles "complete" or "finished".

As a general encyclopedia, Wikipedia seeks to describe as wide a range of topics as possible. It covers the subjects customarily found in traditional encyclopedias, as well as many cultural and technical topics often absent from such works or confined to subject-specialized references. In addition to the roughly exponential growth in number of articles, the average length of each article has increased steadily,[17] as has the number of "featured articles" recognized for their high quality.[17] However, significant gaps in the project's coverage remain, and many articles are not well-referenced in a manner consistent with Wikipedia's editorial policy.[18]

One notable strength of Wikipedia is its timeliness. Traditionally, new editions of encyclopedias were released every few decades, as their information became noticeably outdated. The idea of continuous revision, in which the entire encyclopedia revised and reprinted every few years, replaced this and is now employed by most encyclopedias.[19] Wikipedia takes continuous revision to its ultimate limit — almost all articles may undergo revision at any time, allowing the project to incorporate current events. For example, the article on the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake in the English-language edition was cited frequently by the press in the days following the event.[20]

Policies and guidelines

Decisions on the content and editorial processes of Wikipedia are made largely through consensus decision-making and, occasionally, by voting; Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation retain final judgement.[21] Wikipedia has several policies and guidelines, also developed through consensus, that guide activity on the project, covering behavioural, content-related and legal issues.[9] One of the most important states that articles must be written from a "neutral point of view",[22] presenting all noteworthy perspectives on an issue along with the evidence supporting them — thus, rather than aspiring to determine the objective truth of their subjects, articles attempt to describe them impartially from all significant viewpoints. Individual edits that contain libelous statements, copyright violations, and other content that could incur legal liability or be otherwise detrimental to Wikipedia are permanently hidden from view using a process called "oversight".[23]

Free content and licensing

Contributions to Wikipedia are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), one of the many copyleft licenses that permit the redistribution, creation of derivative works, and commercial use of content. This license allows Wikipedia's editors to retain copyright of their work, but allows others to build upon that work and republish it, as long as the original author is credited and the derivative work is likewise covered by the GFDL. This license ensures that Wikipedia can be edited freely; each author's contributions are recorded for posterity in a database. Larry Sanger has said that having the GFDL as a "guarantee of freedom is a strong motivation to work on a free encyclopedia".[24]

Wikipedia also contains images and other media that were not created by its editors, but are in the public domain. Other content on Wikipedia is released under different copyleft terms or licenses compatible with the GFDL, such as Creative Commons licenses. Still other items such as corporate logos, song samples, or copyrighted news photos are presented with a claim of fair use under the United States copyright law. The Wikimedia Commons, a media repository and sister project in which many of Wikipedia's images are stored, also allows other copyleft licenses, but does not accept fair use images.[25] Contributors may choose to multi-license their contributions under both the GFDL and the public domain, or the GFDL and other licenses, allowing third parties to use the content under any of these licenses.[26]

Wikipedia's open license fosters other innovative uses and presentations of its content. A spoken version is available for some articles in the Ogg Vorbis format,[27] as the more widely used MP3 format is covered by software patents which encumber redistribution under a free license.[28] Stand-alone versions of Wikipedia such as Lexipedia are available for handheld devices. SOS Children distributes the encyclopedia on a CD (2006 Wikipedia CD Selection). Published copies of selected Wikipedia articles are also available via PediaPress, a print on demand service.[29] A project within Wikipedia is working on "Wikipedia 1.0", a collection of Wikipedia articles that have been verified for accuracy and are ready for printing or burning to CD. The German Wikipedia has been distributed on DVD; print and digital versions of the English edition are being planned.[30]


Main article: History of Wikipedia
Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project, Nupedia.
Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project, Nupedia.

Wikipedia began as a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed by a formal process. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000, under the ownership of Bomis, Inc, a web portal company. Its principal figures were Jimmy Wales, Bomis CEO, and Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was licensed initially under its own Nupedia Open Content License, switching to the GFDL before Wikipedia's founding at the urging of Richard Stallman.[31]

On January 10, 2001, Larry Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a "feeder" project for Nupedia.[32] Wikipedia was formally launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at, and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[33] Wikipedia's policy of "neutral point-of-view"[22] was codified in its initial months, and was similar to Nupedia's earlier "nonbiased" policy. Otherwise, there were relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[34] Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot postings, and search engine indexing. It grew to approximately 20,000 articles, and 18 language editions, by the end of 2001. It grew to 26 language editions by the end of 2002, 46 by the end of 2003, and 161 by the end of 2004.[35] Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former's servers went down, permanently, in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia.

Wikipedia's English edition on March 30, 2001, two and a half months after its founding.
Wikipedia's English edition on March 30, 2001, two and a half months after its founding.

Wales and Sanger attribute the concept of using a wiki to Ward Cunningham's WikiWikiWeb or Portland Pattern Repository.[citation needed] Although Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly-editable encyclopedia,[34] Sanger is usually credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal.[36]

Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in a perceived English-centric Wikipedia, users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create the Enciclopedia Libre in February 2002. Later that year, Wales announced that Wikipedia would not display advertisements, and its website was moved to Various other projects have since forked from Wikipedia for editorial reasons. Wikinfo does not require neutral point of view and allows original research. New Wikipedia-inspired projects — such as Citizendium, Scholarpedia and Amapedia — have been started to address perceived limitations of Wikipedia, such as its policies on peer review, original research and commercial advertising.

The Wikimedia Foundation was created from Wikipedia and Nupedia on June 20, 2003.[37]

The Wikimedia Foundation applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark Wikipedia® on September 17, 2004. The mark was granted registration status on January 10, 2006. Trademark protection was accorded by Japan on December 16, 2004 and in the European Union on January 20, 2005. Technically a service mark, the scope of the mark is for: "Provision of information in the field of general encyclopedic knowledge via the Internet". There are plans to license the usage of the Wikipedia trademark for some products, such as books or DVDs.[38]

The number of English Wikipedia articles grew exponentially from 2002 to 2006, with a doubling time of roughly 1 year.
The number of English Wikipedia articles grew exponentially from 2002 to 2006, with a doubling time of roughly 1 year.[39]

As of 2007, English Wikipedia had over 1.6 million articles, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, eclipsing even the Yongle Encyclopedia (1407), which held the record for nearly 600 years.[40]

Authorship and management

During December 2005, about 27,000 users made at least five edits to Wikipedia; of these, 17,000 worked on the English edition.[41] Maintenance tasks are performed by a group of volunteers; these include developers, who work on the MediaWiki software, and other trusted users with various permission levels including "steward", "bureaucrat" and "administrator".[42] Stewards and bureaucrats are able to promote or demote users to different permission levels. Administrators are the largest group of specially privileged users, and have the ability to delete pages, prevent articles from being edited, or block users from editing. Administrators are, however, required to follow community policy when exercising these powers.[43] These permissions are normally granted by community consensus; stewards are elected at irregular intervals. Vandalism or the minor infraction of policies may result in a warning or temporary block, while long-term or permanent blocks for prolonged and serious infractions are given by (or in the name of) Jimmy Wales or, on the English-language edition, an elected "Arbitration Committee".[44]

Wikipedia is funded through the Wikimedia Foundation. Its 4th Quarter 2005 costs were $321,000 USD, with hardware making up almost 60% of the budget.[45] The Wikimedia Foundation currently relies primarily on private donations, and holds regular fundraisers;[46] the January 2007 fundraiser raised just over $1 million.[47]

Software and hardware

Wikipedia receives between 10,000 and 30,000 page requests per second, depending on time of day. More than 100 servers have been set up to handle the traffic.
Wikipedia receives between 10,000 and 30,000 page requests per second, depending on time of day.[48] More than 100 servers have been set up to handle the traffic.

The operation of Wikipedia depends on MediaWiki, a custom-made, open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database. The software incorporates modern programming features, such as a macro language, variables, a transclusion system for templates, and URL redirection. MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License and 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 brackets were 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.

Overview of system architecture, May 2006. Source: Server layout diagrams on Meta-Wiki.
Overview of system architecture, May 2006. Source: Server layout diagrams on Meta-Wiki.

Wikipedia runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers in Florida and in four other locations.[49] 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 located in Florida. This configuration included a single master database server running MySQL, multiple slave database servers, 21 web servers running the Apache HTTP Server, and seven Squid cache servers. By September 2005, its server cluster had grown to around 100 servers in four locations around the world.

Page requests are first passed to a front-end layer of Squid caching servers. Requests that cannot be served from the Squid cache are sent to load-balancing servers running the Perlbal 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 for anonymous users are cached in a filesystem until invalidated, allowing page rendering to be skipped entirely for most common page accesses. To further accelerate response times, Wikimedia is building a global network of caching servers, beginning with three caching servers in France. Two larger clusters in the Netherlands and Korea now handle much of Wikipedia's traffic load.

Language editions

Wikipedia in Hebrew.
Wikipedia in Hebrew.[50]

Wikipedia has been described 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".[51] There are presently 250 language editions of Wikipedia; of these, the top 12 have over 100,000 articles and the top 128 have over 1,000 articles.[1] According to Alexa Internet's audience measurement service, the English subdomain ( receives approximately 55% of Wikipedia's cumulative traffic, with the remaining 45% split among the other languages.[3] The various language editions are held to global policies such as "neutral point of view," though they may diverge on subtler points of policy and practice.

The editing of the language editions is not coordinated, and articles of one edition need not match their counterparts in another edition. Multilingual editors of sufficient fluency are encouraged to manually translate articles; automated translation of articles is explicitly disallowed.[52] Translated articles represent only a small portion of articles in most editions.[53] Articles available in more than one language offer "InterWiki" links in their left margins, which link to the counterpart articles in other editions. Images and other non-verbal media are shared among the various language editions through the Wikimedia Commons repository.

Reliability and bias

Main article: Reliability of Wikipedia

Wikipedia appeals to the authority of peer-reviewed publications rather than the personal authority of experts.[54] Wikipedia does not require that its contributors give their legal names[55] or provide other information to establish their identity.[56] Although some contributors are authorities in their field, Wikipedia requires that even their contributions be supported by published sources.[54] A drawback of this citation-only approach is that readers may be unable to judge the credibility of a cited source.

Wikipedia tries to address the problem of systemic bias, and to deal with zealous editors who seek to influence the presentation of an article in a biased way, by insisting on a neutral point of view.[22] The English-language Wikipedia has introduced a scale against which the quality of articles is judged;[57] other editions have also adopted this. Roughly 1200 have passed a rigorous set of criteria to reach the highest rank, "featured article" status; such articles are intended to provide a thorough, well-written coverage of their topic, and be supported by many references to peer-reviewed publications.[58]

Academic evaluation

Studies suggest that Wikipedia provides a good starting point for research, but sometimes suffers from significant omissions and inaccuracies.[59] An investigation by Nature compared Wikipedia to the Encyclopædia Britannica and suggested a similar level of accuracy;[60] however, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., described this study as "fatally flawed",[61] to which Nature later responded.[62] Other studies have concluded that Wikipedia's coverage of history is significantly broader and deeper than that of Encarta, while being just as accurate,[12] and that obvious vandalism is usually reverted quickly.[11] In a study of Wikipedia as a community, economics professor Andrea Ciffolilli argued that the low transaction costs of participating in wiki software create a catalyst for collaborative development, and that a "creative construction" approach encourages participation.[63] Wikipedia has been viewed as a social experiment; founder Jimmy Wales has stated that it is not intended as one, though that is a consequence.[64]

Criticism and controversy

Main article: Criticism of Wikipedia

Wikipedia has been accused of exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency;[5] critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature, and favouring consensus over credentials in its editorial process, makes it unauthoritative, and that a lack of proper sources for much of the information makes it unreliable.[65] Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia is usually reliable, but that it is not always clear how much.[8] The project's preference for consensus over credentials has been labelled "anti-elitism".[7] Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project's utility and status as an encyclopedia.[66] Many university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work, preferring primary sources;[67] some specifically prohibit Wikipedia citations.[68] Founder Jimmy Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate as primary sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[69] Technology writer Bill Thompson commented that the debate was possibly "symptomatic of much learning about information which is happening in society today."[70]

Concerns have also been raised regarding the lack of accountability that results from users' anonymity,[71] and that it is vulnerable to vandalism and Internet trolls.[72] False information was introduced into the biography of John Seigenthaler, Sr. and remained undetected for four months.[73]

Wikipedia's community has been described as "cult-like",[74] although not always with entirely negative connotations,[75] and criticised for failing to accommodate inexperienced users.[76] The addition of political spin to articles by organizations including the U.S. House of Representatives and special interest groups[6] has been noted,[77] and organizations such as Microsoft have offered financial incentives to improve certain articles.[78] Wikipedia has been parodied by its critics, notably by Stephen Colbert in The Colbert Report.[79]

In 2007 the Wikipedia article on then-Montana senator Conrad Burns was edited by his own staff, causing political scandal among his own constituents. [80]

Wikipedia's content policies[9] and sub-projects set up by contributors seek to address these concerns.[81] Several scholarly studies have concluded that vandalism is generally short-lived,[11] and that Wikipedia is roughly as accurate as other online encyclopedias.[12]


Wikipedia won two major awards in May 2004.[82] 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.[83] Wikipedia was also nominated for a "Best Practices" Webby. In September 2004, the Japanese Wikipedia was awarded a Web Creation Award from the Japan Advertisers Association. This award, normally given to individuals for great contributions to the Web in Japanese, was accepted by a long-standing contributor on behalf of the project.

In a 2006 Multiscope research study, the Dutch Wikipedia was rated the third best Dutch language site, after Google and Gmail, with a score of 8.1.[84] On 26 January 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?"[85] Founder Jimmy Wales was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine in 2006.[86] In 2006, the Russian Wikipedia won the "Science and education" category of the "Prize of the Runet" (Russian: Премия Рунета, Premiya Runeta) award, established by the Russian government.[citation needed]

In the media

Main article: Wikipedia in popular culture

Wikipedia's content has been mirrored and forked by hundreds of sites including database dumps. Wikipedia content has also been used in academic studies, books and conferences.[87] Wikipedia has also been used in court cases,[88] and the Parliament of Canada website refers to Wikipedia's article on same-sex marriage in the "further reading" list of Civil Marriage Act.[89] Wikipedia maintains a (non-comprehensive) list of such uses.[90] Wikipedia's assertions are increasingly used as a source by organizations such as the U.S. Federal courts and the World Intellectual Property Office[91] — though mainly for supporting information rather than information decisive to a case.[92] Wikipedia has also been used as a source in journalism,[93] sometimes without attribution; several reporters have been dismissed for plagiarizing from Wikipedia.[94][95]

With increased usage and awareness, there have been an increasing number of references to Wikipedia in popular culture. Many parody Wikipedia's openness, with characters vandalizing or modifying the online encyclopedia project's articles. Uncyclopedia is the largest such website; its Main Page claims that it is the "content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,"[96] parodying the English Wikipedia's welcome message on its Main Page. In the episode "Wikiality" of The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert has instigated his viewers to vandalize articles in humorous ways, once doing so on the Wikipedia article on elephants.[97] "Weird Al" Yankovic's character in his video 'White & Nerdy' is seen vandalising the entry for the Atlantic record label with the exclamation "You suck!," after they rescinded permission for a parody.[98]

Related projects

Wikipedia has spawned several sister projects. The first, "In Memoriam: September 11 Wiki",[99] created in October 2002,[100] detailed the September 11, 2001 attacks; this project was closed in October 2006 and is no longer managed by the Wikimedia Foundation.[101] Wiktionary, a dictionary project, was launched in December 2002;[102] Wikiquote, a collection of quotations, a week after Wikimedia launched, and Wikibooks, a collection of collaboratively-written free books, the next month. Wikimedia has since started a number of other projects.[103]

A similar non-wiki project, the GNUpedia project, co-existed with Nupedia early in its history; however, it has been retired and its creator, free-software figure Richard Stallman, has lent his support to Wikipedia.[104]

Other websites centered around collaborative knowledge base development have drawn inspiration from or inspired Wikipedia. Some, such as, Enciclopedia Libre, and WikiZnanie likewise employ no formal review process, whereas others use more traditional peer review, such as the expert-written Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, h2g2 and Everything2.

See also

Meta has a page about this at:
List of Wikipedias
  • List of encyclopedias
  • List of wikis
  • Open content
  • User-generated content
  • Congressional staffer edits to Wikipedia


  1. ^ a b c List of Wikipedias. Meta-Wiki (2007-01-24). Retrieved on 2007-01-31.
  2. ^ There is some controversy over who founded Wikipedia. Wales has always considered himself to be the sole founder of Wikipedia and has told the Boston Globe that "it's preposterous" to call Sanger the co-founder. However, Sanger strongly contests that description. He was identified as a co-founder of Wikipedia at least as early as September 2001 and referred to himself that way as early as January 2002.
    • Jonathan Sidener. "Everyone's Encyclopedia", San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2006-10-15.
    • Knott, Janet. "Bias, sabotage haunt Wikipedia's free world", The Boston Globe, 2006-02-12. Retrieved on 2006-04-12.
    • Peter Meyers. "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You", New York Times, 2001-09-20. Retrieved on 2006-10-15.
    • Sanger, Larry. What Wikipedia is and why it matters. Retrieved on 2006-04-12.
  3. ^ a b Five-year traffic statistics for Alexa Internet. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  4. ^ Three-month traffic statistics for Alexa Internet. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
  5. ^ a b Simon Waldman (2004-10-26). Who knows?. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2007-02-11.
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