What is Wikipedia?


Wikipedia articles are written with nonspecialist readers in mind, starting with an initial lead section that defines or identifies the subject matter without taking an authoritative stance.

Wikipedia is an open, collaborative project; anyone may edit its content at any time, so you should approach its use with caution when writing academically and always check its accuracy before citing it as a source.

The Wiki Country

Wikipedia is an informal network of volunteer editors (known as “Wikipedians”) who collaborate to produce an open encyclopedia online. Articles written for Wikipedia should adhere to a straightforward, neutral style without becoming essayistic or promotional; its editors should make reliable citations while refraining from expressing personal views or bias.

The English Wikipedia is the largest among its editions and has seen exponential growth since its inception; however, its article count has recently declined.

Other wikis include Wikimedia Commons, which hosts free-use media files; MediaWiki – Wikipedia’s software for editing; and metaWiki, which coordinates all Wikipedia language sites. Wikipedia community discussions occur across noticeboards (where editors post their opinions); Village Pump (a central area for discussing issues related to Wikipedia); Teahouse; Help desk etc.

The Wiki City

Wikipedia is an international community of volunteers who create articles in multiple languages to create reliable informational articles in an encyclopedic style that is straightforward, neutral, and factual. Wiki software enables easy revisions while experienced editors oversee its operation – thus making Wikipedia an enduring source of reliable knowledge across many cultures worldwide.

The Wikimedia Foundation runs several sister projects to Wikipedia, such as Wiktionary (a dictionary and thesaurus), Wikimedia Commons (a repository of free media), Wikibooks (a collection of textbooks), Wikimedia Tours (a guide to places of interest), Wikispecies (catalog of organisms), Wikinews (free-content citizen journalism news), and Wikiquote (database of quotations).

These projects feature articles, discussion forums, community portals, requested moves (debates on whether an article should be kept, deleted, merged, or redirected), and village pumps – central hubs for discussing general wiki policies and technical issues. Sister projects that offer similar functionality include Conservapedia (an American-language encyclopedia with a conservative point of view), Knol, Infogalactic, and Scholarpedia.

The Wiki State

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia of free content written and edited by volunteers, providing a comprehensive, neutral, and factual survey of existing mainstream knowledge on any subject. Articles must undergo peer review before being posted online for public consumption; furthermore, all information must be verifiable by third-party sources.

Wikipedians from the site’s self-governing community of volunteer editors (Wikipedians). A hierarchy exists whereby others select certain editors in the community to have greater editorial control. Wikipedia content is stored in MariaDB databases while being served via various software servers, including Squid and Varnish caching proxy servers in front of the Apache HTTP Server that processes user requests for Web pages.

The community uses various discussion forums to address topics and policies about Wikipedia. These include the Village pump, community portals, help desks, and discussion channels that enable editors to seek assistance when editing, request specific edits from editors who require assistance, report problems in Wikipedia content or structure, or even pose new queries.

The Wiki Kingdom

Wikipedia content is created through an unorganized network of volunteer contributors known as Wikipedians, who act in concert to produce it. The community is self-governing and consensus-driven. As co-founder of the project, Jimmy Wales acts as a judge in major editorial disputes; otherwise, he does not interfere with editors’ work.

Wikipedia articles are constantly sourced and may be revised if they become unsourced or incorrect (though usually following discussion on the talk page to determine this action). Without sources, unsourced information would be considered hoaxes or propaganda and unsuitable for publication on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia contains many types of pages other than articles: Wikipedia: Featured Content — articles that have undergone an intensive review process to meet quality standards and showcase its end goals; Wikipedia: Requested Moves — where editors discuss retitling of articles; and Wikipedia: Village Pump — an area for community discussions. These other pages count towards article count when assessing the size of the Wikipedia database.