English Wikipedia

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Favicon of Wikipedia English Wikipedia
83%
Logo of the English Wikipedia
Web address en.wikipedia.org
Slogan The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
Commercial No
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia
Registration Optional, but required for certain tasks including
  • • protected page edit 
  • • page creation 
  • • file upload 
Users 28,943,509
Content license
Creative Commons Attribution/
Share-Alike
3.0
(most text also dual-licensed under GFDL)
Media licensing varies
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger[1]
Launched 15 January 2001; 15 years ago (2001-01-15)

The English Wikipedia is the English-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Founded on 15 January 2001, it is the first edition of Wikipedia and, as of July 2016, has the most articles of any of the editions.[2] As of August 2016, nearly 12.8% of articles in all Wikipedias belong to the English-language edition. This share has gradually declined from more than 50 percent in 2003, due to the growth of Wikipedias in other languages.[3] There are 5,226,132 articles on the site (live count).[4] In October 2015, the combined text of the English Wikipedia's articles totalled 11.5 gigabytes when compressed.[5] On 1 November 2015, the English Wikipedia announced it had reached 5,000,000 articles[6] and ran a special logo to reflect the milestone.[7]

The Simple English Wikipedia is a variation in which most of the articles use only basic English vocabulary. There is also the Old English (Ænglisc/Anglo-Saxon) Wikipedia (angwiki). Community-produced news publications include The Signpost.[8]

Pioneering edition[edit]

The English Wikipedia was the first Wikipedia edition and has remained the largest. It has pioneered many ideas as conventions, policies or features which were later adopted by Wikipedia editions in some of the other languages. These ideas include "featured articles",[9] the neutral-point-of-view policy,[10] navigation templates,[11] the sorting of short "stub" articles into sub-categories,[12] dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration,[13] and weekly collaborations.[14]

The English Wikipedia has adopted features from Wikipedias in other languages. These features include verified revisions from the German Wikipedia (dewiki) and town population-lookup templates from the Dutch Wikipedia (nlwiki).

Although the English Wikipedia stores images and audio files, as well as text files, many of the images have been moved to Wikimedia Commons with the same name, as passed-through files. However, the English Wikipedia also has fair-use images and audio/video files (with copyright restrictions), most of which are not allowed on Commons.

Many of the most active participants in the Wikimedia Foundation, and the developers of the MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia, are English Wikipedia users.

Users and editors[edit]

English Wikipedia statistics
Number of user accounts Number of articles Number of files Number of administrators
28,943,509 5,226,132 851,669 1,292

The English Wikipedia reached 4,000,000 registered user accounts on 1 April 2007,[15] just a little over a year since it had crossed a threshold of 1,000,000 registered user accounts in late February 2006.[16]

Over 800,000 editors have edited Wikipedia more than 10 times.[17] 300,000 editors edit Wikipedia every month[citation needed]; of these, over 30,000 perform more than 5 edits per month, and a little over 3,000 perform more than 100 edits per month.[18] By 24 November 2011, a total of 500 million edits had been performed on the English Wikipedia.[citation needed]

As the largest Wikipedia edition, and because English is such a widely used language, the English Wikipedia draws many users and editors whose native language is not English. Such users may seek information from the English Wikipedia rather than the Wikipedia of their native language because the English Wikipedia tends to contain more information about general subjects. Successful collaborations have developed between non-native English speakers who add content to the English Wikipedia and native English speakers who act as copyeditors for them.[citation needed]

Arbitration Committee[edit]

Main article: Arbitration Committee

The English Wikipedia has an Arbitration Committee (also known as ArbCom) that consists of a panel of editors that imposes binding rulings with regard to disputes between other editors of the online encyclopedia.[19] The Committee was created by Jimmy Wales on 4 December 2003 as an extension of the decision-making power he had formerly held as owner of the site.[20][21]

When initially founded, the Committee consisted of 12 arbitrators divided into three groups of four members each.[20][22] Since then, the Committee has gradually expanded to its membership to 18 arbitrators.[23][not in citation given]

Like other aspects of the English Wikipedia, Wikipedia's sister projects have emulated the Arbitration Committee with their own similar versions.[24] For instance, in 2007, an Arbitration Committee was founded on the German Wikipedia called the Schiedsgericht.[25]

Controversies[edit]

Incidents of cyberbullying on Wikipedia have been reported in the mainstream press.[26][27][28] The Glen A. Wilson High School was the subject of such a threat in 2008,[26][27][28] and a 14-year-old boy was arrested for making a threat against Niles West High School on Wikipedia in 2006.[29]

A 2013 study from Oxford University concluded that the most disputed articles on the English Wikipedia tended to be broader issues, while on other language Wikipedias the most disputed articles tended to be regional issues; this is due to the English language's status as a global lingua franca, which means that many who edit the English Wikipedia do not speak English as a native language. The study stated that the most disputed entries on the English Wikipedia were: George W. Bush, anarchism, Muhammad, list of WWE personnel, global warming, circumcision, United States, Jesus, race and intelligence, and Christianity.[30]

Varieties of English[edit]

One controversy in the English Wikipedia concerns which national variety of the English language is to be preferred, with the most commonly advocated candidates being American English and British English.[31] Perennial suggestions range from standardizing upon a single form of English to forking the English Wikipedia project. A style guideline states, "the English Wikipedia has no general preference for a major national variety of the language" and "an article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the appropriate variety of English for that nation".[32] An article should use spelling and grammar variants consistently; for example, color and colour are not to be used in the same article, since they represent American and British English, respectively. The guide also states that an article must remain in its original national variant.

There has been a similar issue in the Chinese language Wikipedia concerning regional differences in writing. Efforts at a language fork for Portuguese Wikipedia have failed, and succeeded for Norwegian Wikipedia.

Andrew Lih wrote that the English Wikipedia "didn't have the chance to go through a debate over whether there should be a British English Wikipedia or an American English Wikipedia" because the English Wikipedia was the original edition.[33][clarification needed] Editors agreed to use U.S. spellings for primarily American topics and British spellings for primarily British topics. In 2009 Lih wrote, "No doubt, American spellings tend to dominate by default just because of sheer numbers."[34]

Wikiprojects, and assessments of articles' importance and quality[edit]

Main article: WikiProject

A "WikiProject" is a group of contributors who want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia. These groups often focus on a specific topic area (for example, women's history), a specific location or a specific kind of task (for example, checking newly created pages). The English Wikipedia currently has over 2,000 WikiProjects and activity varies.[35]

In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English Wikipedia introduced an assessment scale of the quality of articles.[36] Articles are rated by WikiProjects. The range of quality classes begins with "Stub" (very short pages), followed by "Start", "C" and "B" (in increasing order of quality). Community peer review is needed for the article to enter one of the highest quality classes: either "A", "good article" or the highest, "featured article". Of the about 4.4 million articles and lists assessed as of March 2015, a little more than 5000 (0.12%) are featured articles, and fewer than 2000 (0.04%) are featured lists. One featured article per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia.[37][38]

The articles can also be rated as per "importance" as judged by a WikiProject. Currently, there are 5 importance categories: "low", "mid", "high", "top", and "???" for unclassified/uncertain level. For a particular article, different WikiProjects may assign different importance levels.

The Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team has developed a table (shown below) that displays data of all rated articles by quality and importance, on the English Wikipedia. If an article or list receives different ratings by two or more WikiProjects, then the highest rating is used in the table, pie-charts, and bar-chart. The software regularly auto-updates the data.

Researcher Giacomo Poderi found that articles tend to reach featured status via the intensive work of a few editors.[39] A 2010 study found unevenness in quality among featured articles and concluded that the community process is ineffective in assessing the quality of articles.[40]



Circle frame.svg

Quality-wise distribution of over 4.8 million articles and lists on the English Wikipedia, as of 3 April 2015[41]

  Featured articles (0.12%)
  Featured lists (0.04%)
  A class (0.03%)
  Good articles (0.48%)
  B class (2.05%)
  C class (3.99%)
  Start class (25.73%)
  Stub class (54.08%)
  Lists (3.50%)
  Unassessed (9.99%)






Circle frame.svg

Importance-wise distribution of over 4.8 million articles and lists on the English Wikipedia, as of 5 April 2015[41]

  Top (0.91%)
  High (3.21%)
  Medium (12.29%)
  Low (49.37%)
  ??? (34.22%)
500,000
1,000,000
1,500,000
2,000,000
2,500,000
3,000,000
Top
High
Medium
Low
???
  •   Featured articles
  •   Featured lists
  •   A-class articles
  •   Good articles
  •   B-class articles
  •   C-class articles
  •   Start-class articles
  •   Stub articles
  •   Lists
  •   Unassessed articles and lists

[Note: The table above (prepared by the Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team) is automatically updated daily by User:WP 1.0 bot, but the bar-chart and the two pie-charts are not auto-updated. In them, new data has to be entered by a Wikipedia editor (i.e. user).]

Graphics[edit]

Internal news publications[edit]

WikipediaSignpostIcon.svg

Community-produced news publications include The Signpost.[8] The Signpost (previously known as The Wikipedia Signpost[46]) is the English Wikipedia's newspaper.[8][47][48] It is managed by the Wikipedia community and is published online weekly.[8][49] Each edition contains stories and articles related to the Wikipedia community.[50][51] A wide range of editors contribute articles and other pieces.[8]

The publication was founded in January 2005 by Wikipedia administrator and later Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Michael Snow.[8][46][52] Originally titled The Wikipedia Signpost, it was later shortened to simply The Signpost.[46][53] The newspaper reports on Wikipedia events including Arbitration Committee rulings,[54] Wikimedia Foundation issues,[55] and other Wikipedia-related projects.[56] Snow continued to contribute as a writer to The Signpost until his appointment to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation in February 2008.[57]

Investigative journalism by The Signpost in 2015 on changes to freedom of panorama copyright restrictions in Europe was covered by publications in multiple languages including German,[58] Italian,[59] Polish,[60] and Russian.[61] Wikipedia users Gamaliel and Go Phightins! became editors-in-chief of The Signpost in January 2015; prior editor-in-chief The ed17 noted that during his tenure the publication expanded its scope by including more reporting on the wider Wikimedia movement and English Wikipedia itself.[62] In a letter to readers upon the newspaper's tenth anniversary, the new co-editors-in-chief stressed the importance of maintaining independence from the Wikimedia Foundation in their reporting.[63]

The Signpost has been the subject of academic analysis in publications including Sociological Forum,[64] the social movements journal Interface,[65] and New Review of Academic Librarianship;[66] and was consulted for data on Wikipedia by researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Dartmouth College.[67] It has garnered generally positive reception from media publications including The New York Times,[68] The Register,[69] Nonprofit Quarterly,[70] and Heise Online.[71] The book Wikipedia: The Missing Manual called The Signpost essential reading for ambitious new Wikipedia editors.[72]

Other past and present community news publications include the "Wikiworld" web comic, the Wikipedia Weekly podcast, and newsletters of specific WikiProjects like The Bugle from WikiProject Military History and the monthly newsletter from The Guild of Copy Editors. There are also a number of publications from the Wikimedia Foundation and multilingual publications such as the Wikimedia Blog and This Month in Education.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ There is some controversy over who founded Wikipedia. Wales considers himself to be the sole founder of Wikipedia and has told the Boston Globe that "it's preposterous" to call Sanger the co-founder.[citation needed] However, Sanger strongly contests that description. He was identified as a co-founder of Wikipedia as early as September 2001 and referred to himself as being founder as early as January 2002.[citation needed]
  2. ^ about 50 percent more than the next in rank, the Swedish Wikipedia. See m:List of Wikipedias.
  3. ^ Wikimedia Meta-Wiki (21 September 2008). "List of Wikipedias". Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  4. ^ The number of articles on the English Wikipedia is shown by the MediaWiki variable {{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}, with all Wikipedias as total {{NUMBEROF|ARTICLES|total}} = 40,743,345.
  5. ^ See size of downloads at Wikipedia:Database download and a list of historical sizes here
  6. ^ "Wikipedia:Five million articles". Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "File:Wikipedia-logo-v2-en_5m_articles.png". Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 1 November 2015.  External link in |title= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d e f Phoebe Ayers; Charles Matthews; Ben Yates (2008). How Wikipedia Works: And how You Can be a Part of it. No Starch Press. pp. 345–. ISBN 978-1-59327-176-3. 
  9. ^ English Wikipedia (30 January 2007). "Featured articles". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  10. ^ English Wikipedia (25 January 2007). "Neutral point of view". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  11. ^ Wikimedia Meta-Wiki (29 January 2007). "Help:Template". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  12. ^ English Wikipedia (19 January 2007). "WikiProject Stub sorting". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  13. ^ English Wikipedia (27 January 2007). "Resolving disputes". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  14. ^ English Wikipedia (30 January 2007). "Article Creation and Improvement Drive". Retrieved 30 January 2007. 
  15. ^ Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-04-02/News and notes. Retrieved 20 April 2007
  16. ^ Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-02-27/News and notes. Retrieved 20 April 2007
  17. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics – Tables – English". Stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics – Tables – English". Stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Schiff, Stacy (2 December 2006). "Know-alls". The Age. Australia: Fairfax Digital Network. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  20. ^ a b Wales, Jimmy (4 December 2003). "WikiEN-l Wikiquette committee appointments". Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 
  21. ^ Hoffman, David A.; Salil Mehra (2010). "Wikitruth Through Wikiorder". Emory Law Journal. 59 (2010). SSRN 1354424. 
  22. ^ Hyatt, Josh (1 June 2006). "Secrets of Greatness: Great Teams". Fortune. Time Warner. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  23. ^ Wales, Jimmy (20 December 2008). "ArbCom Appointments". Wikipedia. Retrieved 14 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Wikidata (1 April 2015). "Wikipedia sitelinks for Arbitration Committee". Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Kleinz, Torsten (30 April 2007). "Wikipedia sucht Schiedsrichter" (in German). heise online. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 
  26. ^ a b Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (29 April 2008). "Wikipedia threats went unchecked – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ a b "Hacienda Heights school receives possible threat | abc7.com". Abclocal.go.com. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Student arrested for violent threats on Wikipedia". Los Angeles Times. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  29. ^ "Teen charged after threat to school on Wikipedia". Bloomington, IL: Pantagraph.com. Associated Press. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  30. ^ Gross, Doug. "Wiki wars: The 10 most controversial Wikipedia pages." CNN. 24 July 2013. Retrieved on 26 July 2013. Archived 12 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ English Wikipedia. "Wikipedia:Manual of Style (spelling)". Retrieved 25 February 2006. 
  32. ^ English Wikipedia. "Wikipedia:Manual of Style". Retrieved 10 October 2007. 
  33. ^ Lih, p. 135.
  34. ^ Lih, p. 136.
  35. ^ "Wikipedia: Wikiprojects". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment". Retrieved 28 October 2007. 
  37. ^ "Comparing featured article groups and revision patterns correlations in Wikipedia". First Monday. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  38. ^ Fernanda B. Viégas; Martin Wattenberg; Matthew M. McKeon (22 July 2007). "The Hidden Order of Wikipedia" (PDF). Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research. Retrieved 30 October 2007. 
  39. ^ Poderi, Giacomo, Wikipedia and the Featured Articles: How a Technological System Can Produce Best Quality Articles, Master thesis, University of Maastricht, October 2008.
  40. ^ Lindsey, David. "Evaluating quality control of Wikipedia's featured articles". First Monday. 
  41. ^ a b Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Statistics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  42. ^ Zachte, Erik (14 November 2011). "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Wikipedia Page Views Per Country – Trends". Wikimedia Statistics. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  43. ^ Zachte, Erik (14 November 2011). "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Page Edits Per Wikipedia Language – Breakdown". Wikimedia Statistics. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  44. ^ "Usability and Experience Study". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  45. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Page Edits Per Wikipedia Language – Breakdown". Stats.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  46. ^ a b c Cohen, Noam (5 March 2007). "A Contributor to Wikipedia Has His Fictional Side". The New York Times. p. C5. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  47. ^ Koebler, Jason (16 February 2016). "The Secret Search Engine Tearing Wikipedia Apart". Vice. 
  48. ^ Geoffroy, Romain (16 January 2014). "Une employée de Wikipédia débarquée pour avoir monnayé ses articles". Les Inrockuptibles. 
  49. ^ Dobusch, Leonhard (12 January 2014). "Interview mit Dirk Franke über "Grenzen der Bezahlung" in der Wikipedia". Netzpolitik.org. 
  50. ^ Rosen, Rebecca (6 February 2013). "If You Want Your Wikipedia Page to Get a TON of Traffic, Die While Performing at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show". The Atlantic. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  51. ^ Dariusz Jemielniak (2014). Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia. Stanford University Press. pp. 231–. ISBN 978-0804797238. 
  52. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (18 July 2008). "Wikimedia Foundation edits its board of trustees". CNET. 
  53. ^ Okoli, Chitu; Mehdi, Mohamad; Mesgari, Mostafa; Nielsen, Finn Årup; Lanamäki, Arto (24 October 2012). "The people's encyclopedia under the gaze of the sages: A systematic review of scholarly research on Wikipedia". doi:10.2139/ssrn.2021326. SSRN 2021326. 
  54. ^ Oz, Ayelet (1 September 2014). "The Legal Consciousness of Wikipedia". Harvard Law School. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2572381. SSRN 2572381. 
  55. ^ Sotirios Paroutis; Loizos Heracleous; Duncan Angwin (1 February 2013). Practicing Strategy: Text and Cases. SAGE Publications. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-1-4462-9047-7. 
  56. ^ Waters, John K. (2010). The Everything Guide to Social Media. Adams Media. pp. 180, 270. ISBN 978-1440506314. 
  57. ^ Ral315 (18 February 2008). "From the editor: This week, I'd like to congratulate and thank Michael Snow". The Wikipedia Signpost. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  58. ^ Diener, Andrea (27 June 2015). "Geben Sie Panoramafreiheit, Sire!". FAZ – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  59. ^ "Libertà di Panorama: a rischio in Europa con una riforma del copyright". Blogo: Informazione libera e indipendente (in Italian). 22 June 2015. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  60. ^ "Chcesz robić zdjęcia znanych budowli Europy? Spiesz się. To mogą być ostatnie tygodnie". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish). 24 June 2015. ISSN 0860-908X. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  61. ^ "ТРЕВОГА! Свободная съемка на улицах Европы – под угрозой" (in Russian). 23 June 2015. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  62. ^ The ed17 (21 January 2015). "From the editor: Introducing your new editors-in-chief". The Signpost. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  63. ^ Go Phightins! and Gamaliel (28 January 2015). "From the editor: An editorial board that includes you". The Signpost. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  64. ^ Konieczny, Piotr (March 2009). "Governance, Organization, and Democracy on the Internet: The Iron Law and the Evolution of Wikipedia". Sociological Forum. Wiley. 24 (1): 167. Retrieved 29 February 2016 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)). 
  65. ^ Konieczny, Piotr. "Wikipedia: community or social movement?" (PDF). Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements. 1 (2): 212–232. ISSN 2009-2431. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  66. ^ Bayliss, Gemma (January 2013). "Exploring the Cautionary Attitude Toward Wikipedia in Higher Education: Implications for Higher Education Institutions". New Review of Academic Librarianship. 19 (1): 39. doi:10.1080/13614533.2012.740439. ISSN 1361-4533. Retrieved 1 March 2016 – via EBSCO Host. 
  67. ^ Yan, Guanhua; Arackaparambil, Chrisil. "Wiki-watchdog: Anomaly detection in Wikipedia through a distributional lens". Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology – Volume 01. IEEE Computer Society Washington. pp. 257–264. doi:10.1109/WI-IAT.2011.86. ISBN 978-0-7695-4513-4. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  68. ^ Dee, Jonathan (1 July 2007). "All the News That's Fit to Print Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  69. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (12 January 2016). "Wikimedia Foundation bins community-elected trustee". The Register. 
  70. ^ McCambridge, Ruth (16 February 2016). "Knight Foundation Grant Request Tears at Wikipedia's Community". Nonprofit Quarterly. 
  71. ^ Kleinz, Torsten (27 February 2016). "Kommentar: Wie geht es weiter mit der Wikimedia Foundation?". Heise Online. 
  72. ^ John Broughton (25 January 2008). Wikipedia: The Missing Manual: The Missing Manual. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". pp. 454–. ISBN 978-0-596-55377-7. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]