Friday, December 16, 2005

Wikipedia rivals Britannica on scientific accuracy

Wikipedia, the web-based free encyclopedia written and edited by volunteers, apparently stacks up pretty well against the oldest English language general encyclopedia, according to an online article in Nature. Check out the Wired News article, or the Nature article.

I think there's a tendency to doubt the accuracy of Wikipedia, but perhaps that tendency will lessen as information like this comes to light. It's also worth mentioning a book that speaks to our tendency to trust experts over common wisdom - it's called The Wisdom of Crowds: why the many are smarter than the few, and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies, and nations, by James Surowiecki. I first read about this book in an article by Orson Scott Card, and that convinced me to read it.


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Mary said...

This story is discussed on NPR's All Things Considered, December 15th, "Assessing Wikipedia's Accuracy".

At 1:30 PM, Blogger mari said...

Thanks for posting, Ian. It's good to see that Wikipedia is beginning to receive critical appraisal.


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