Earlier this year, the digital information powerhouse, Wikipedia, celebrated its tenth anniversary. Over the last decade, founder Jimmy Wales’s free encyclopedia project has grown in both popularity and notoriety. Often the first stop on the Internet for information seekers, Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world, only falling behind sites owned by billion dollar corporations like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.
There are currently more than 91,000 active contributors working on more than 17 million articles in more than 270 languages; 3.5 million in English. In fact, according to a survey done by the Pew Research Center, over fifty percent of Internet users in the United States consult Wikipedia. These Wiki-users aren’t limited to high school students writing their term papers: a quick search of court records shows that even judges sometimes cite Wikipedia as a source for information on their rulings.
With so many people getting their information from the open-source encyclopedia and its seemingly exponential expansion in the last ten years, it’s time to as the pivotal question, is Wikipedia finally a credible resource?
I'm Emily Greenhalgh, a Boston-based science writer, editor, and illustrator.