From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The website, Wikipedia's homepage for all languages.
The website, Wikipedia's homepage for all languages.

Wikipedia (pronounced /ˌwiːkiˈpiːdiə/ or /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/) is a multilingual, Web-based, free content encyclopedia project. The name Wikipedia is a portmanteau (combination of words and their meanings) of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference Web sites attracting at least 684 million visitors yearly by 2008. There are more than 75,000 active contributors working on more than 10,000,000 articles in more than 250 languages. As of today, there are 2,409,757 articles in English; every day hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new articles to enhance the knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia. (See also: Wikipedia:Statistics).

Visitors do not need specialized qualifications to contribute, since their primary role is to write articles that cover existing knowledge; this means that people of all ages and cultural and social backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles. Most of the articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet, simply by clicking the edit this page link. Anyone is welcome to add information, cross-references or citations, as long as they do so within Wikipedia's editing policies and to an appropriate standard. Substandard or disputed information is subject to removal. Users need not worry about accidentally damaging Wikipedia when adding or improving information, as other editors are always around to advise or correct obvious errors, and Wikipedia's software is carefully designed to allow easy reversal of editorial mistakes.

Because Wikipedia is an ongoing work to which, in principle, anybody can contribute, it differs from a paper-based reference source in important ways. In particular, older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles more frequently contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation that has been recently added and not yet removed (see Researching with Wikipedia for more details). However, unlike a paper reference source, Wikipedia is continually updated, with the creation or updating of articles on topical events within seconds, minutes or hours, rather than months or years for printed encyclopedias.

If you have not done so, we invite you to take a few moments to read What Wikipedia is (and is not), so that you have an understanding of how to consult or contribute to Wikipedia. Further information on key topics appears below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, try the Frequently Asked Questions or see Where to ask questions. For help with editing and other issues, see Help:Contents.


About Wikipedia

Wikipedia history

For more details on this topic, see History of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia was founded as an offshoot of Nupedia, a now-abandoned project to produce a free encyclopedia. Nupedia had an elaborate system of peer review and required highly qualified contributors, but the writing of articles was slow. During 2000, Jimmy Wales, founder of Nupedia, and Larry Sanger, whom Wales had employed to work on the project, discussed ways of supplementing Nupedia with a more open, complementary project. Multiple sources are suggested for the idea that a wiki might allow members of the public to contribute material, and Nupedia's first wiki went online on January 10.

There was considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia's editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a website in the wiki format, so the new project was given the name "Wikipedia" and launched on its own domain,, on January 15 (now called "Wikipedia Day" by some users). The bandwidth and server (in San Diego) were donated by Wales. Other current and past Bomis employees who have worked on the project include Tim Shell, one of the cofounders of Bomis and its current CEO, and programmer Jason Richey. The domain was eventually changed to the present when the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation was launched as its new parent organization, prompting the use of a .org domain to denote its non-commercial nature. In March 2007, the word wiki became a newly recognized English word.[1]

In May 2001, a wave of non-English Wikipedias was launched — in Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Esperanto, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish; these were soon joined by Arabic and Hungarian.[2] In September,[3] Polish was added and further commitment to the multilingual provision of Wikipedia was made. At the end of the year, Afrikaans, Norwegian, and Serbocroatian versions were announced.

Trademarks and copyrights

Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which has created an entire family of free-content projects. On all of these projects, you are welcome to be bold and edit articles yourself, contributing knowledge as you see fit in a collaborative way.

All of the text in Wikipedia, and most of the images and other content, is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the GFDL license ensures the content is freely distributable and reproducible. (See the copyright notice and the content disclaimer for more information.)

Wikipedia contributors

Anyone with internet access can edit Wikipedia, and this openness encourages inclusion of a tremendous amount of content. About 75,000 editors — from expert scholars to casual readers — regularly edit Wikipedia, and these experienced editors often help to create a consistent style throughout the encyclopaedia, following our Manual of Style.

Several mechanisms are in place to help Wikipedia members carry out the important work of crafting a high-quality resource while maintaining civility. Editors are able to watch pages and techies can write editing programs to keep track of or rectify bad edits. Over 1,500 administrators with special powers ensure that behaviour conforms to Wikipedia guidelines and policies. Where there are disagreements on how to present facts editors work together to arrive at an article which fairly represents current expert opinion on the subject. Editors who fail to work with others in a civil manner can be temporarily or permanently banned from editing Wikipedia by the administrators.

Although the Wikimedia Foundation owns the site, it is largely uninvolved in writing and daily operations.

The Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization founded in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States in 2002 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. The foundation acts as the legal umbrella body for Wikipedia and all related sister projects, and is the owner of all trademarks and intellectual property rights related to Wikipedia. Almost all of its functions are undertaken by volunteers within the Wikipedia community, supplemented by a very small paid staff, an Advisory Board of around 15 expert individuals, and a Board of Trustees. Branches of the foundation exist and are being added to in an ongoing manner, in a number of countries, focussing upon reference information, publication, funding, and other projects specific to the location.

At a project level the foundation also co-ordinates the global policies, practices and facilities of Wikipedia in all languages and its sister projects, provides legal and intellectual property input as required, and is formally responsible for the development of the open source Wikipedia software (Mediawiki) as requirements change.

In line with its goal of producing reference material free to all people, the foundation also operates a Metawiki where matters impinging upon all projects, global discussions can take place, and global policies can be formally documented and developed, and an incubator for proposed new projects and new languages, to facilitate their launch and early stage development. As of August 2007 there are around 100 new reference projects in various stages of development initiated by members of the Wikipedia and related communities.


January 2008 Wikimedia Organization employee chart
January 2008 Wikimedia Organization employee descriptions

The functions of the Wikimedia Foundation were, for the first few years, executed almost entirely by volunteers. In the spring of 2005, the foundation only had two employees, Danny Wool and Brion Vibber. Though the number of employees has grown, the bulk of foundation work continues to be done by volunteers, with the foundation having very few employees.

On June 16, 2006, Brad Patrick, previously a practicing attorney who had done some pro bono work with the foundation starting in fall 2005, was named general counsel and interim executive director; in the latter capacity, Patrick was designated to assist the board in its search for a permanent executive director.[4]

As of October 4, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation had five paid employees: two programmers (software manager Brion Vibber in California and server administrator Chad Perrin in Tampa); "to answer the phones", administrative assistant Barbara Brown; to handle fundraising and grants, Danny Wool; and to manage, interim executive director Brad Patrick.[5]

As of December 8, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation's list of current staff named three other technical independent contractors (part-time hardware manager Kyle Anderson in Tampa, full-time MediaWiki software developer Tim Starling, and part-time networking coordinator Mark Bergsma).

Brad Patrick ceased his activity as interim director in January 2007 and then resigned from his position as legal counsel in April 2007.

In January 2007, Carolyn Doran was named Chief Operating Officer and Sandy Ordonez came on board as Communication Manager.[6] Doran had begun working as a part-time bookkeeper for the foundation in 2006 after being sent by a temporary agency.

Danny Wool, officially the grant coordinator but also largely involved in fundraising and business development, resigned in March 2007. In April 2007, the foundation added a new position, Chapter Coordinator, and appointed Delphine Ménard, then in the position of Volunteer Coordinator, to fill it. Cary Bass was appointed to replace Ménard.

In May 2007, Vishal Patel was hired to assist in business development.[7]

In July 2007, Mike Godwin was hired as general counsel and legal coordinator.[8] That same month, Carolyn Doran left as COO[9] and Sue Gardner was hired as consultant and special advisor. The number of full-time staff members, after these hires, was still fewer than ten.[10]

In December 2007, it was revealed by The Register[11] that former COO Carolyn Doran was a convicted felon, with a DUI arrest during her tenure at the Foundation and a substantial criminal history, including shooting her boyfriend and charges of complicity in credit card forgery.[12]


January 2008:

  • San Francisco, California, United States:
    • Cheryl Owens (formerly Steffen): New, Sue Gardner's assistant; started December 10, 2007.
    • Erica Ortega: New, Office Manager; started December 10, 2007.
    • Brion Vibber: foundation's first employee; Chief Technical Officer (CTO);
    • Cary Bass: Volunteer Coordinator;
    • Kul Takanao Wadhwa:Head of Business Development, started January 3, 2008;
    • Erik Möller: New to the staff but formerly Member of the Board of Trustees; Deputy Director; started December 31, 2007
    • Mike Godwin: Legal Counsel, started in July 2007; in the San Francisco office January 30, 2007.
    • Sue Gardner: Executive Director (ED), started in June 2007.
  • Outside the United States:
    • Tim Starling: Software Developer, Australia;
    • Delphine Ménard : Chapters Coordinator, Frankfurt;
    • Mark Bergsma: System Administrator, Eindhoven, the Netherlands;
    • Jay Walsh: New, Head of Communications, Vancouver Island, Canada; started January 10, 2007.
  • St Petersburg, Florida, United States:
    • Barbara Brown: Office Manager;
    • Sandy Ordonez: Communications;
    • Vishal Patel: Business Development;
    • Oleta McHenry: Accountant;
    • Rob Halsell: Information Technology Manager and Server Administrator.

Barbara, Sandy and Vishal are expected to finish with the foundation at the end of January 2008. Oleta is expected to stay until the end of March. Following the closure of the St. Petersburg office, Rob will continue to work for the foundation out of Tampa, maintaining the Tampa servers.[13]

February 2008:

Veronique Kessler was hired as Chief Financial and Operating Officer (CFOO) with a start date of February 4, 2008.[14]

Making the best use of Wikipedia

Exploring Wikipedia

Main article: Wikipedia:Explore

Many visitors come to this site to acquire knowledge, others to share knowledge. In fact, at this very instant, dozens of articles are being improved, and new articles are also being created. You can view changes as they happen at the Recent changes page. You also can view random articles. Over 2,000 articles have been designated by the Wikipedia community as featured articles, exemplifying the best articles in Wikipedia. Another 4,000 articles are designated as good articles. Wikipedia also has portals, which organize content around topic areas. You may also search for articles using the search box on the left side of the screen.

You also might enjoy reading Wikipedia in other languages. Wikipedia has more than two hundred different languages (see other language versions), including a Simple English version, and related projects include a dictionary, quotations, books, manuals, and scientific reference sources, and a news service (see sister projects). All of these are maintained, updated, and managed by separate communities, and often include thought-provoking information and articles which can be hard to find through other common sources.

Basic navigation in Wikipedia

Wikipedia articles are all linked, or cross-referenced. Wherever you see highlighted text like this, it means there is a link to some relevant article or Wikipedia page with further in-depth information elsewhere if you need it. Holding your mouse over the link will often show you where a link will take you. You are always one click away from more information on any point that has a link attached. There are other links towards the ends of most articles, for other articles of interest, relevant external web sites and pages, reference material, and organized categories of knowledge which you can search and traverse in a loose hierarchy for more information. Some articles may also have links to dictionary definitions, audio-book readings, quotations, the same article in other languages, and further information available on our sister projects. You can add further links if a relevant link is missing, and this is one way to contribute.

Using Wikipedia as a research tool

As a wiki, articles are never complete. They are continually edited and improved over time, and in general this results in an upward trend of quality, and a growing consensus over a fair and balanced representation of information.

Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start, and may contain false or debatable information. Indeed, many articles start their lives as partisan, and after a long process of discussion, debate and argument, they gradually take on a neutral point of view reached through consensus. Others may for a while become caught up in a heavily unbalanced viewpoint which can take some time — months perhaps — to achieve better balanced coverage of their subject. In part, this is because editors often contribute content in which they have a particular interest and do not attempt to make each article that they edit comprehensive. However, eventually additional editors expand and contribute to articles and strive to achieve balance and comprehensive coverage. In addition, Wikipedia operates a number of internal resolution processes that can assist when editors disagree on content and approach, and eventually the editors generally reach a consensus on ways to improve the article.

The ideal Wikipedia article is balanced, neutral and encyclopedic, containing comprehensive notable, verifiable knowledge. An increasing number of articles reach this standard over time, and many already have. Our best articles are called Featured Articles (and display a small star in the upper right corner of the article), and our second best tier of articles are designated Good Articles. However, this is a process and can take months or years to be achieved, as each user adds their contribution in turn. Some articles contain statements and claims which have not yet been fully cited. Others will later have entire new sections added. Some information will be considered by later contributors to be insufficiently founded, and may be removed or expounded.

While the overall trend is generally upward, it is important to use Wikipedia carefully if it is intended to be used as a research source, since individual articles will, by their nature, vary in standard and maturity. There are guidelines and information pages designed to help users and researchers do this effectively, and an article that summarizes third-party studies and assessments of the reliability of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia vs. paper encyclopedias

Main article: Wiki is not paper (on Wikimedia Meta-Wiki)

Wikipedia has advantages over traditional paper encyclopedias. Wikipedia has a very low "publishing" cost for adding or expanding entries and a low environmental impact, since it need never be printed. Also, Wikipedia has wikilinks instead of in-line explanations and it incorporates overview summaries (article introductions) with the extensive detail of a full article. Additionally, the editorial cycle is short. A paper encyclopedia stays the same until the next edition, whereas writers update Wikipedia at every instant, around the clock, ensuring that it stays abreast of the most recent events and scholarship.

Strengths, weaknesses, and article quality in Wikipedia

Wikipedia's greatest strengths, weaknesses, and differences all arise because it is open to anyone, has a large contributor base, and articles are written by consensus according to editorial guidelines and policies.

  • Wikipedia is open to a large contributor base, drawing a large number of editors from diverse backgrounds. This allows Wikipedia to significantly reduce regional and cultural bias found in many other publications, and makes it very difficult for any group to censor and impose bias. A large, diverse editor base also provides access and breadth on subject matter that is otherwise inaccessible or little documented. A large number of editors contributing at any moment also means that Wikipedia can produce excellent encyclopedic articles and resources covering newsworthy events within hours or days of their occurrence. It also means that like any publication, Wikipedia may reflect the cultural, age, socio-economic, and other biases of its contributors. There is no systematic process to make sure that "obviously important" topics are written about, so Wikipedia may contain unexpected oversights and omissions. While most articles may be altered by anyone, in practice editing will be performed by a certain demographic (younger rather than older, male rather than female, rich enough to afford a computer rather than poor, etc) and may, therefore, show some bias. Some topics may not be covered well, whilst others may be covered in great depth.
  • Allowing anyone to edit Wikipedia means that it is more easily vandalized or susceptible to unchecked information, which requires removal. While blatant vandalism is usually easily spotted and rapidly corrected, Wikipedia is more subject to subtle viewpoint promotion than a typical reference work. However, bias which would be unchallenged in a traditional reference work is likely to be ultimately challenged or considered on Wikipedia. While Wikipedia articles generally attain a good standard after editing, it is important to note that fledgling, or less well monitored, articles may be susceptible to vandalism and insertion of false information. Wikipedia's radical openness also means that any given article may be, at any given moment, in a bad state, such as in the middle of a large edit, or a controversial rewrite. Many contributors do not yet comply fully with key policies, or may add information without citable sources. Wikipedia's open approach tremendously increases the chances that any particular factual error or misleading statement will be relatively promptly corrected. Numerous editors at any given time are monitoring recent changes and edits to articles on their watchlist.
  • Wikipedia is written by open and transparent consensus — an approach that has its pros and cons. Censorship or imposing "official" points of view is extremely difficult to achieve and almost always fails after a time. Eventually for most articles, all notable views become fairly described and a neutral point of view reached. In reality, the process of reaching consensus may be long and drawn-out, with articles more fluid or changeable for a long time compared while they find their "neutral approach" that all sides can agree on. Reaching neutrality is occasionally made harder by extreme-viewpoint contributors. Wikipedia operates a full editorial dispute resolution process, that allows time for discussion and resolution in depth, but also permits months-long disagreements before poor quality or biased edits will be removed.

Studies suggest that Wikipedia is broadly as reliable as Encyclopedia Britannica, with similar error rates on established articles for both major and minor omissions and errors.[15] There is a tentative consensus, backed by a gradual increase in academic citation as a source, that it provides a good starting point for research, and that articles in general have proven to be reasonably sound. That said, articles and subject areas sometimes suffer from significant omissions, and while misinformation and vandalism are usually corrected quickly, this does not always happen. (See for example this incident in which a person inserted a fake biography linking a prominent journalist to the Kennedy assassinations and Soviet Russia as a joke on a co-worker which went undetected for 4 months, saying afterwards he "didn’t know Wikipedia was used as a serious reference tool.") Therefore, a common conclusion is that it is a valuable resource and provides a good reference point on its subjects.

The MediaWiki software which runs Wikipedia retains a history of all edits and changes, thus information added to Wikipedia never "vanishes", and is never "lost" or deleted. Discussion pages are an important resource on contentious topics. There, serious researchers can often find a wide range of vigorously or thoughtfully advocated viewpoints not present in the consensus article. Like any source, information should be checked. A 2005 editorial by a BBC technology writer comments that these debates are probably symptomatic of new cultural learnings which are happening across all sources of information (including search engines and the media), namely "a better sense of how to evaluate information sources."[16]

See also: Reliability of Wikipedia and Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia


Core disclaimers



Academic use

Main article: Wikipedia:Disclaimers

Wikipedia disclaimers apply to all pages on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, in common with many websites, makes its disclaimers highly visible, a practice which at times has led to commentators citing these in order to support a view that Wikipedia is unreliable. A selection of similar disclaimers from places which are often regarded as reliable (including sources such as Encyclopædia Britannica, Associated Press, and the Oxford English Dictionary) can be read and compared at Non-Wikipedia disclaimers. Wikipedia content advisories can also be found here.

Contributing to Wikipedia

Main articles: Contributing to Wikipedia, First steps in editing articles, New contributors' help page
Guide to fixing vandalism: Help:Reverting

Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia by clicking on the Edit this page tab in an article. Before beginning to contribute however, you should check out some handy helping tools such as the tutorial and the policies and guidelines, as well as our welcome page. It is important to realize that in contributing to Wikipedia, users are expected to be civil and neutral, respecting all points of view, and only add verifiable and factual information rather than personal views and opinions. "The five pillars of Wikipedia" cover this approach and are recommended reading before editing. (Vandals are reported via the Administrator Notice Board and may be temporarily blocked from editing Wikipedia.)

Most articles start as stubs, but after many contributions, they can become featured articles. Once you have determined that there is no article on Wikipedia on a topic you are interested in, you may want to request that the article be written (or you could even research the issue and write it yourself). Wikipedia has many on-going projects, focused on specific topic areas or tasks, which help coordinate editing. The hope of any contributor is to provide useful and accurate information to others, and the projects help coordinate efforts.

Editing Wikipedia pages

Main article, including list of common mark-up shortcuts: Wikipedia:How to edit a page

Wikipedia uses a simple yet powerful page layout to allow editors to concentrate on adding material rather than page design. These include automatic sections and subsections, automatic references and cross-references, image and table inclusion, indented and listed text, links ISBNs and math, as well as usual formatting elements and most world alphabets and common symbols. Most of these have simple formats that are deliberately very easy and intuitive.

Wikipedia has robust version and reversion controls. This means that poor quality edits or vandalism can quickly and easily be reversed or brought up to an appropriate standard by any other editors, so inexperienced editors cannot accidentally do permanent harm if they make a mistake in their editing. As there are many more editors intent upon good quality articles than any other kind, articles that are poorly edited are usually corrected promptly.

Wikipedia content criteria

Wikipedia content is intended to be factual, notable, verifiable with external sources, and neutrally presented, with external sources cited.

The appropriate policies and guidelines for these are found at:

  1. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not summarizes what Wikipedia is, and what it is not.
  2. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view Wikipedia's core approach, neutral unbiased article writing.
  3. Wikipedia:No original research what is, and is not, valid information.
  4. Wikipedia:Verifiability what counts as a verifiable source and how a source can be verified.
  5. Wikipedia:Citing sources sources should be cited, and the manner of doing so.
  6. Wikipedia:Manual of Style articles should follow this style guide

These can be abbreviated to WP:NOT, WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, WP:V, WP:CITE, WP:MOS respectively.

Editorial administration, oversight and management

The Wikipedia community is largely self-organising, so that anyone may build a reputation as a competent editor and become involved in any role they may choose, subject to peer approval. Individuals often will choose to become involved in specialised tasks, such as reviewing articles at others' request, watching current edits for vandalism, watching newly created articles for quality control purposes, or similar roles. Editors who find that editorial administrator responsibility would benefit their ability to help the community may ask their peers in the community for agreement to undertake such roles; a structure which enforces meritocracy and communal standards of editorship and conduct. At present around a 75–80% approval rating after enquiry, is considered the requirement for such a role, a standard which tends to ensure a high level of experience, trust and familiarity across a broad front of projects within Wikipedia.

A variety of software assisted systems and automated programs help several hundred editors to watch for problematic edits and editors. An arbitration committee sits at the top of all editorial and editor conduct disputes,[17] and its members are elected in three regularly rotated tranches by an established enquiry and decision making process in which all regular editors can equally participate.

Handling disputes and abuse

Main articles: Wikipedia:Vandalism, Wikipedia:Dispute resolution, Wikipedia:Consensus, Wikipedia:Sock puppet, Wikipedia:Conflict of interest

Wikipedia has a rich set of methods to handle most abuses that commonly arise; these methods are well tested and should be relied upon.

In addition, brand new users (until they have established themselves a bit) may at the start find that their votes are given less weight by editors in some informal polls, in order to prevent abuse of single purpose accounts.

Editorial quality review

As well as systems to catch and control substandard and vandalistic edits, Wikipedia also has a full style and content manual, and a variety of positive systems for continual article review and improvement. Examples of the processes involved include peer review, good article assessment, and featured articles, a rigorous review of articles which are desired to meet the highest standards and showcase Wikipedia's capability to produce high quality work.

In addition, specific types of article or fields often have their own specialized and comprehensive projects, assessment processes (such as biographical article assessment), and expert reviewers within specific subjects. Nominated articles are also frequently the subject of specific focus under projects such as the Neutrality Project or covered under editorial drives by groups such as the Cleanup Taskforce.

Technical attributes

Wikipedia uses MediaWiki software, the open-source program used not only on Wikimedia projects but also on many other third-party websites. The hardware supporting the Wikimedia projects is based on almost 100 servers in various hosting centers around the world. Full descriptions of these servers are available on this meta page. For technical information about Wikipedia, you can check Technical FAQs.

Feedback and questions

Wikipedia itself is run as a communal effort. It is a community project whose end result is an encyclopedia. Feedback about content should, in the first instance, be raised on the discussion pages of those articles. You are invited to be bold and edit the pages yourself to add information or correct mistakes if you are knowledgeable and able to do so.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Main article: Wikipedia:FAQ
FAQ index: Index of all Wikipedia FAQ pages

Giving feedback

There is an established escalation and dispute process within Wikipedia, as well as pages designed for raising questions, feedback, suggestions and comments:

  • Talk pages — the associated discussion page for discussion of an article or policy's contents. This is usually the first place to go.
  • Wikipedia:Vandalism — to report vandalism (you're encouraged to fix vandalism yourself as well as report it)
  • Dispute resolution — for disputes which remain unresolved within an article's talk space.
  • Village pump — the Wikipedia discussion area, part of the community portal.

See also:

Research help and similar questions

Facilities for help for users researching specific topics can be found at:

Because of the nature of Wikipedia, it's encouraged that people looking for information should try and find it themselves in the first instance. If however you come across valid information missing from Wikipedia, be bold and add it yourself so others can gain from your research too!

Community discussion

For specific discussion not related to article content or editor conduct, see the Village pump, which covers such subjects as announcements, policy and technical discussion, and information on other specialized portals such as the help, reference and peer review desks. The Community Portal is a centralized place to find things to do, collaborations, and general editing help information, and find out what's going on.

Contacting individual Wikipedia editors

If you need more information, the first place to go is the Help:Contents. To contact individual contributors, leave a message on their talk page. Standard places to ask policy and project-related questions are the village pump, online, and the Wikipedia mailing lists, over e-mail. You can also reach other Wikipedians via IRC and e-mail.

Also, you could try the Wikimedia Foundation meta-wiki, a site for coordinating the various Wikipedia projects and sister projects (and abstract discussions of policy and direction), and there are many different places for submitting bug reports and feature requests.

For a full list of contact options, see Wikipedia:Contact us.

Related versions and projects

This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 2,409,757 articles. Many other Wikipedias are available; the largest are listed below.

Complete list · Multilingual coordination

Sister projects

Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:

Free media repository
Free-content news
Dictionary and thesaurus
Collection of quotations
Free textbooks and manuals
Free-content library
Directory of species
Free learning materials and activities
Wikimedia project coordination
Please note that while other sites may also use MediaWiki software and therefore look similar to Wikipedia, or may have a name that includes 'Wiki-' or '-pedia', or a similar domain name, the only projects which are part of the Wikimedia Foundation are those listed above, even if they claim to be part of it.

See also


  1. ^ "Quarterly update to OED online: New edition: Prakrit to prim", Oxford English Dictionary, 15 March 2007
  2. ^ Wikipedia announcements — May 2001.
  3. ^ Wikipedia announcements — September 2001.
  4. ^ Wikimedia Foundation press release. Wikimedia Foundation (2006-06-12).
  5. ^ Jimmy Wales. Charlie Rose (46:22) (internet video) [TV-Series]. Google Video: Charlie Rose. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
  6. ^ Current staff from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.
  7. ^ Current staff from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-04-23.
  8. ^ Mailing list post by the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees announcing the appointment.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Current staff from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-07-11.
  11. ^ Metz, Cade. "Wikipedia COO was convicted felon", 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-27. 
  12. ^ Bergstein, Brian. "Felon Became COO of Wikipedia Foundation", 2007-12-21. Retrieved on 2008-03-26. 
  13. ^ January 2008 Wikimedia Organization employee chart - January 2008 Wikimedia Organization employee decriptions
  14. ^ Gardner, Sue (2008-01-30). [Foundation-l] [Announcement] New CFOO: Veronique Kessler. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.
  15. ^ history flow: results. IBM.
  16. ^ Bill Thompson, "What is it with Wikipedia?", BBC, 16 December 2005.
  17. ^ The founder of Wikipedia is the sole individual empowered to override this process, but has stated in public that extreme circumstances aside, he will not do so.

Further reading