Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Great Wikipedia/Traditional Encyclopedia Debate: Another Episode

The Wall Street Journal features an online discussion between Jimmy Wales, the founder of the collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia, that can be edited by anyone, and Dale Hoiberg, editor in chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.
"Wikipedia, the community-edited online encyclopedia, has blossomed. It has thousands of volunteers that have created more than five million entries in dozens of languages on everything from the Elfin-woods warbler to Paris Hilton. But the popular site has also been dogged by vandals and questions about its accuracy (...) A recent study in the journal Nature, however, found few differences in accuracy between science entries in Wikipedia and the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica (...) At a gathering of Wikipedia contributors last month, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales urged them to put more emphasis on quality instead of quantity. In a bid to battle vandalism, the German version of the site is testing a new feature that will let administrators flag versions of articles as 'nonvandalized,' and those are the pages that will be shown to most visitors. Can Wikipedia's everyone's-an-editor approach produce a reliable resource tool without scholarly oversight? Are traditional encyclopedias like Britannica limited by lack of input?"
Earlier Library Boy posts on the credibility of Wikipedia:


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:50 pm


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