Wikimedia press releases/Wikipedia vs Brockhaus and Encarta
Wikipedia content tested
October 4, 2004 (Berlin, Germany, the Internet): c't, the popular german magazine for computer engineering, just released a study (in their October 4 edition) in which they had experts test the content of the three major digital encyclopedias in Germany -- Brockhaus, Encarta, and Wikipedia. The test covered 22 subjects in the fields of Science, Society, and Arts. Within each subject, three specific topics were chosen -- an easy, a moderate, and a hard topic -- and the articles on these topics were reviewed by experts for breadth, depth, and comprehensibility of content.
The experts then rated each article on a scale from 1 to 5 points; these results were totalled at each level of conceptual difficulty, within each field, and across all 22 topics. The net result: Wikipedia took the top prize, a significant margin ahead of the other two encyclopedias, faring particularly well in Science topics.
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise articles in a collaborative process. All of its content is freely reusable, published under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Wikipedia recently celebrated the creation of its 1 millionth article in over 100 languages.
Wikipedia publishes its content on a wiki software platform called MediaWiki. A wiki allows anyone to edit a page at any time and have their changes visible instantly (wikiwiki means "quick" in Hawaiian). Visitors can also examine old versions of pages to see how an article has developed.
For questions and interviews, please contact (in English only):
Jimmy Wales, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Angela Beesley, Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
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