Wikipedia is an online encyclopedic data-base with users world-wide, it offers millions of articles in hundreds of languages. It is comparable to the grand encyclopedic volumes which once occupied the bookshelves of households the world over, but is much larger and taps into an infinite source of contributors. While similar in the aims of a physical encyclopedia, that is, to provide a wealth of reference information on the widest range of topics possible, it greatly differs in its creation and delivery.
Wikipedia is a free source of information which is created by the people who use it, unlike traditional encyclopedias which are written and edited by professional experts. It is mainly because of this fact that Wikipedia faces criticism as to the reliability of its information, and as a result, is often not considered a trusted source of information for purposes of reference at higher educational levels. The pros and cons of Wikipedia are many and varied. A few of the strenghths and opportunities of the site include its accessibility, it’s virtual over pysical size, its ability to be revised and edited at no cost to the user, and that it is completely free to access. As it provides an opportunity for communal collaboration, it removes itself from the traditional heirarchial method o...
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...out of a new era and the world is increasingly becoming digital, it comes down to the fact that Wikipedia “taps an almost infinite wealth of talent, energy, and insight that far exceeds what Britannica’s closed model can muster”8 and through this, is on the route to offering a higher quality constantly improved encyclopedic online library.
Ayers, P., Matthews, C. & Yates, B. (2008). How Wikipedia Works. San Francisco: No Starch Press.
Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From production to produsage. New York: Peter Lang.
Reagle, J. M. Jnr. (2010). Good Faith Collaboration: The culture of Wikipedia. USA: MIT Press.
Tapscott, D. & Williams, A. D. (2006). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. London: Atlantic Books.
Vivian, J. (2011). The media of mass communication (10th ed.). New York: Pearson.
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