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Credibility, or even more importantly, perceived credibility, is an obstacle that stands between Wikipedia and world domination. Vandalism, biased edits, and factual inaccuracies, at least in their perceived potential magnitude, stand between Wikipedia and the world's librarians and educators. If we want to win the hearts and minds of these important readers, we must be perceived as credible.

Are we already credible?


The following was copied from Wikipedia:Talk:Donations_for_victims_of_the_2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake#The_huge_red_warning...:

I totally disagree, Andre. This is my personal opinion as a newbie, but Wikipedia is developing the credibility that major encyclopedias like World Book and Britannica have. Children come to this site to do research for their school projects. In this light, we should take the responsible step and tell those that merely browse this site (who may not know at first glance that this site is freely editable) that all of these agencies have not been verified. Brownman40 23:14, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Made up terms?


Some users have complained that new users (possibly vandals) frequently seem to make up terms. What is the minimum number of Google references required to have: (a) a wikipedia article; or (b) a term defined or referred to (without its own article)?

I propose that for (a), we want at least 1000 matches. For (b), we want fewer, perhaps 100.

 -- en:user:Waveguy
Counterexamples shouldn't be too hard to trawl. At least when I search Google for even some quite significant stuff, I often get very few hits, and sometimes even none. I think google is not the best indicator. The aim is important, but the method isn't right. There's got to be a better way. Cimon avaro 02:31 16 May 2003 (UTC)
After thinking on the matter some more; I want to say that I am even more stridently sceptical about an "external" criterium being mechanically applied. If you are serious, persuade us (us wikipedians) that a specific problem exists, and should be specifically taken special care of. (I know that's a whatchamacallit, so sue me!) Cimon avaro 13:01 18 May 2003 (UTC)
I think it depends on context - some subjects you wouldn't expect to have a lot of google hits, because they're historical and/or non-American. Other subjects get loads of hits, but probably aren't worth covering in an encyclopedia. To my mind, the key criteria is verifiability - to what extent can the information in the article be verified? MyRedDice
I don't see why "non-American" subjects would have fewer Google hits. Brianjd 02:54, 2005 Feb 16 (UTC)

Verified Articles Repository


Wiki is a fine first port of call, and contains a fair bit of info thats hard to find elsewhere. For that its excellent.

But we all know its not possible to keep articles 100% accurate, and for that reason its very difficult if not impossible to achieve maximum credibility.

I see one way to do it, the filing of locked verified articles. This means as well as the main wiki there is also a repository of specific versions of wiki articles that have been fully verified. This could really boost wiki's perceived standing on this issue.