Wikipedia Is Spot On

USA TODAY: Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that relies on volunteers to pen nearly 4 million articles, is about as accurate in covering scientific topics as Encyclopedia Britannica, the journal Nature wrote in an online article published Wednesday.
The finding, based on a side-by-side comparison of articles covering a broad swath of the scientific spectrum, comes as Wikipedia faces criticism over the accuracy of some of its entries.
Two weeks ago prominent journalist John Seigenthaler Sr. revealed that a Wikipedia entry that ran for four months had incorrectly named him as a longtime suspect in the assassinations of president John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert.
Such errors appear to be the exception rather than the rule, Nature said in Wednesday’s article, which the scientific journal said was the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia to Britannica. Based on 42 articles reviewed by experts, the average scientific entry in Wikipedia contained four errors or omissions, while Britannica had three.
“We’re very pleased with the results and we’re hoping it will focus people’s attention on the overall level of our work, which is pretty good,” said Jimmy Wales, who founded St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Wikipedia in 2001.
Unlike Britannica, which charges for its content and pays a staff of experts to research and write its articles, Wikipedia gives away its content for free and allows anyone — amateur or professional, expert or novice — to submit and edit entries.
Wikipedia, which boasts 3.7 million articles in 200 languages, is the 37th most visited website on the Internet, according to the research service Alexa.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I love wikipedia, even when it’s wrong.
    Check out this joint wikipedia/google search thingy
    I made for a home page.