Author Archives: Grace Robertson

Encyclopaedias are not popularity contests

Few would dispute the popularity of Wikipedia, the self-described “multi-lingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model”. The website is currently ranked by web analysts Alexa as the fifth most popular worldwide. But whether Wikipedia’s collaborative nature truly earns … Continue reading

Posted in Part 1: Introduction | Leave a comment

The differences between Wikipedia and traditional encyclopaedias

Before analysing whether Wikipedia fulfils its ‘encyclopaedia’ self-description, it’s first necessary to establish what exactly the term implies. Wikipedia describes encyclopaedias here as “a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge … Continue reading

Posted in Part 2: difference between Wikipedia and traditional encyclopaedias | 1 Comment

No substitute for the library: amateurs, truthiness, vandalism, and other nonsense

Whilst Wikipedia’s palimpsestic and collaborative nature has received praise for enforcing positive Web 2.0 ideals, it has also inspired much criticism for failing to achieve the self-described encyclopaedic content. Many side with author Mark Youngblood Herring (2007:28) who condemns Wikipedia as “no … Continue reading

Posted in Part 3: Criticisms against Wikipedia's ecncylopaedic claim | 1 Comment

So is Wikipedia an encyclopaedia?

Wikipedia drifts greatly from traditional understandings of the Encyclopaedia. Its continuously and openly editable nature make it a constantly incomplete artefact and removes former one-to-many, hierarchical, expert dominated production chains. Wikipedia’s detractor consequently argue that it’s unworthy of its encyclopaedia … Continue reading

Posted in Part 4: Conclusion | 1 Comment