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The world's largest encyclopedia available on the Web at Wikipedia is user generated, and anyone can create or edit an article (see wiki). Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, as of 2017, there were approximately 45 million articles in more than 250 languages on every conceivable subject on the planet. Wikipedia has been written and edited by tens of millions of contributors, with more than 100,000 routinely adding to the English version.

Admired and Criticized
Wikipedia's range of subjects is unparalleled, covering topics that would never appear in any conventional encyclopedia, online or print. There are so many "eyes" looking at an entry that erroneous information is often caught rather quickly. However, Wikipedia is also disparaged because people can make edits without divulging their credentials or experience in the subject. In addition, if vendors see comments about their products, nothing stops them from editing the article in their favor (see Wikiality).

There Is a Hierarchy
Although anybody can edit an article, there is a hierarchy. Several hundred Wikipedia administrators have the power to delete entries and block IP addresses to keep people from adding obscene language or stating extremely strong opinions. Jimmy Wales has the ultimate authority. See Wikipedian, Wikia and Uncyclopedia..

A Note from the Author

Wikipedia is a great source for technical details. If you want to know the author and date of Version 1.25a of your application, Wikipedia may be the only source. However, if you want to quickly understand a technical concept, Wikipedia often disappoints. The reason is simple. It takes years to become a good technical writer. I've been writing this reference for more than 30 years, and, today, I'm doing my best work.

Wikipedia's contributing writers on technical subjects are often brilliant and experienced engineers who know their subject cold, but they don't spend years thinking about how to describe it in simple language that anyone can understand. Instead of one inexperienced writer contributing to a technical definition, a Wikipedia article may be written by a dozen novice writers, each with a different writing style, or often, no style ("too many cooks spoil the broth").

Because of Wikipedia and the countless other technical articles on the Web that are difficult to understand, our readers come to us first, because they know that if the entry is there, it will be succinct and to the point... at least most of the time. I constantly revise existing definitions to make them clearer. In fact, I have edited some of them a hundred times to make them easier for you to read, and I thank you for doing so.
References in periodicals archive ?
Via Wikipedia a medical student could communicate with more patients in medical school than in an entire career as a practicing physician.
Tinkering with Wikipedia's science pages Average Maximum words daily changed Wikipedia article edits per day Global warming 231 111 Evolution 89 142 Continental drift 19 24 General relativity 37 20 SOURCE: A.
The claims against the MP erupted after an investigation by The Guardian into edits to Wikipedia pages by user "Contribsx" who was later banned from the site.
It has since been removed by another Wikipedia user.
This is the network of fiber-optic cables and junctions that connect Wikipedia with its global community of readers and editors.
By distributing knowledge to places where it was previously unavailable, Wikipedia also plays an important role in countries where neutrality and open information are not taken for granted.
An opportunity would be offered by Wikipedia Zero for children, students and professionals to learn more and increase their knowledge.
In contrast to Wikipedia, which is a compilation of user generated articles where anyone can edit or add pages, the Russian alternative will be a prime online source for more than 50000 books and archive documents from around 27 regional libraries.
First, it is the most detailed and cogent analysis of the reasons why reliance on Wikipedia as a source for factual findings can be problematic.
Parts of the Bulgarian state archives will be published in Wikipedia, Martin Ivanov, head of the country's Archives State Agency, has announced.
Attendees will need to have some knowledge of using Wikipedia and will be required to bring their own laptop with power cable.
Wikipedia is considered one of the internet's most popular websites, with millions of visitors daily.