Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sangar and now boasts over 24 million articles written in 285 different languages.
The name wikipedia is derived from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”.
Articles in Wikipedia are loosely organized according to their development status and subject matter. A new article often starts as a “stub”, a very short page consisting of definitions and some links. Developed articles may be nominated for “featured article” status and one per day, is selected by editors, appearing on the main page of Wikipedia.
Did you know?
Did you know that alongside Wikimedia, there are other projects supported by the Wikimedia Foundation? These include Wikimedia Commons, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikivoyage, Wikispecies, Wikinews and Wikiversity.
Wikimedia Commons is an online repository of over 15 million free-use images, sound and other media files.
Wikibooks is a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation for the creation of free content textbooks and annotated texts that anyone can edit.
Wiktionary (from the words wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in 158 languages. Unlike standard dictionaries, it is written collaboratively by volunteers, dubbed “Wiktionarians”, using wiki software, allowing articles to be changed by almost anyone with access to the website.
Wikiquote is a vast reference of quotations from prominent people, books, films and proverbs. Wikiquote pages are cross-linked to articles about the notable personalities on Wikipedia.
Wikivoyage is a free web-based travel guide for both travel destinations and travel topics written by volunteer authors. The name is a portmanteu of the words “Wiki” (an Internet-based software system that allows change and extension of the text by any user) and “Voyage”, the French word for travel, journey, or trip.
Wikispecies is a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species and covers Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life.
Wikinews is a free-content news source wiki and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. The site works through collaborative journalism. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has distinguished Wikinews from Wikipedia by saying “on Wikinews, each story is to be written as a news story as opposed to an encyclopedia article.”
Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project, which supports learning communities, their learning materials, and resulting activities. It differs from more structured projects such as Wikipedia in that it instead offers a series of tutorials or courses, for the fostering of learning, rather than formal content.