March 1, 2006

Wikipedia vs. Britannica

Another long article comparing Wikipedia to Britannica, this time at Information Today.

In this author’s opinion, the flap over Wikipedia was significantly overblown, but contained a silver lining: People are becoming more aware of the perils of accepting information at face value. They have learned not to consult just one source. They know that authors and editors may be biased and/or harbor hidden agendas. And, because of Wikipedia’s known methodology and vulnerabilities, it provides opportunities to teach (and learn) critical thinking.

... Britannica is a different animal. Flawed, yes. Behind the times with regard to non-Western and minority leadership, sure. Indispensable? You betcha.

Another nice bit on how and why chemists are using Wikipedia at Chemistry World.
The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia could become the main source of chemical information in 5–10 years, according to a professional chemist who contributes to the site.

...‘A general rule on Wikipedia is that an article that has been heavily edited and around for a long time is usually pretty good,’ Walker told Chemistry World, ‘if it hasn’t, it may be flawed.’

The accuracy of Wikipedia’s entries will continue to improve as contributors begin to organise themselves and take responsibility for certain subjects, he said. Chemistry content on the site is coordinated through two so-called ‘wikiprojects’, said Walker: chemistry and chemicals.

both via OAN.

Update: As Eric H points out in the comments, Wikipedia has just added its One Millionth article! Thanks, Eric.

1 comment:

Ebscer said...

Just thought that you would be interested to know that wikipedia reached one million articles today!!!!