April 6, 2012
Wikipedia created in 2001 tagged the free encyclopedia is a multilingual web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model written collaboratively by a largely anonymous internet volunteers who write without pay. (Wikipedia:About, 2012) Wikipedia has at least 4.8 billion visitors annually, over 85,000 active contributors working on over 21 million articles in 280 languages. (Wikipedia:About, 2012). As a result of this open model, Wikipedia has emerged as one of the largest repository for information besides the encyclopedia Britannica, but does the high number of contributors and volume of information guarantee the credibility of the authors and validity of the information in the Wikipedia encyclopedia? This is one challenge that the owners of Wikipedia will have to contend with for a long era. Credibility strengthens a research work (Spatt, 2011, p. 347) and greatly depends on the author’s qualification (Spatt, 2011, p. 348), regrettably, Wikipedia is written largely by amateurs because they have more free time on their hands and are make rapid changes in response to current [ (Wikipedia:About, 2012) ] events rather than people with relevant educational background and professional experience. The fact that anonymous contributions are allowed on Wikipedia is another source of concern around its credibility and when those with expert credentials make contributions they are given no additional weight which could have assisted the users to judge the credibility or otherwise of the contributions. In addition to this is the absence of an editorial board that could have helped to review and edit the contents before they become available for public use as is the case with other printed encyclopedia. Another factor that affects the credibility and validity of Wikipedia is that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the...