Wikipedia has been in the news recently. Their attempts to raise funds were successful, with people donating anything from 80c to US$286800. Currently, they have raised US$1.018M!!
Wikipedia uses the idea of collective wisdom to create an amazing amount of content on the web. The latest numbers show around 1,585,075 articles hosted for the English wikipedia, with close to 60,000 hits a day.
With its immense popularity, and its radical model of generating the articles, many questions have been raised about it, specifically related to its Reliability as an encyclopedia.
The formost being accuracy of the information inside the articles. Since the writers are not necessarily subject matters experts, or scholars, how can one be sure of accuracy of any information given?
Further more, the open editing model, allows the negative elements of the society to alter the information to mislead the users or slander others. There have been many cases of this.
The coverage of wikipedia is often biased towards technology, with articles often lacking content, or ill-edited articles on other subjects. The neutrality of the authors of the articles cannot be guaranteed, thus generating many articles skewed toward a certain perspective.
As a result if this controversy, Academics do not consider Wikipedia as a valid source or reference. Schools and Universities do not encourage students to use Wikipedia to do their research and studies.
While there are many who put a lot of efforts to collect and curate much of the information known to mankind, the small number of those who work against it, are stopping such a great resource from being used to its greatest potential.