Wikimedia press releases/Facts & Figures/Wikipedia

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Key messages on[edit]

  • Wikipedia's goal is to empower every single human being with the ability to share in the sum of all knowledge.
  • Wikipedia is not a marketing vehicle, it is a haven for lovers of knowledge.
  • Individuals should be "bold" and fix any errors they see.

Facts & figures you should know about Wikipedia[edit]

  • Started in January 2001,
  • The world's fastest-growing, most current, and largest encyclopedia,
  • 6 million articles in over 250 languages.
  • The largest sites are English, German, and French.
  • Created entirely by volunteers. We have no paid editors.
  • One of top five brands in the world [1].
  • Wikipedia is self-correcting for both content and users. The more eyeballs the higher our accuracy.
  • An estimated 7 billion page views a month
  • Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. It is a great place to begin research, but should not be cited in papers, exams, etc.
  • Wikipedia is a "wiki" – a collaborative, open-source medium – thus, articles are never complete, and are continually being edited and improved upon. The volunteer community of editors is vigilant in trying to check edits and correct errors, but at any one time, there is no guarantee an article is 100 percent correct.
  • Content is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This means individuals can copy, distribute and modify each other’s work, as long as it maintains these freedoms (known as "copyleft").
  • The entire database is freely downloadable.
  • In the fall of 2005, Nature journal published an article that compared Wikipedia articles to Encyclopaedia Britannica articles. The comparison found that the average Wikipedia article contained four inaccuracies, while the average Britannica entry contained three. This led the magazine to claim that "the difference in accuracy was not particularly great."
  • Roy Rosenzweig, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, did an analysis of the accuracy of Wikipedia for The Journal of American History, and he found that in many entries, Wikipedia was as accurate or more accurate than more traditional encyclopedias. He said that the quality of material was inconsistent, and that biographical entries were generally well done, while more thematic entries were much less so.
  • Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, is on the Advisory Board to the Board of Trustees.
  • China - We don't know why we are blocked in China, but our position is that censorship is fundamentally at odds with everything our mission is about.
  • Decisions are based on a consensus of editors.

... and other projects[edit]

  • Other Wikimedia projects include Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies and Wikiversity.