Wikipedia is a digital encyclopedia which is available through Internet . This is a free and open access publication, with more than 15 million articles written by volunteers in more than 200 languages.
The encyclopedia, managed by a non-profit organization called Wikimedia Foundation , was created by the Americans Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001 . His name is a contraction of Wiki Wiki ("Quick" in Hawaiian language) and encyclopedia ("encyclopedia" in English).
These characteristics are what have made Wikipedia currently become an information tool for everyone. Thus, both students, to obtain data about a topic they address in class, as anyone who wants to know what the word before them means makes use of that encyclopedia of the Network.
It is so important in our day to day that it is currently in the “top ten” of the most visited places on the Web. And it is really useful because it is made up of more than 37 million items that can be found in A total of 284 different languages.
Culture, art, history, geography, health, mathematics, technology or philosophy are some of the areas addressed in this encyclopedia through thousands and thousands of interesting articles that are very useful for everyone and that are usually accompanied in addition to the corresponding Graphic material.
The main novelty provided by Wikipedia is the possibility that any user can contribute and edit content. This democratizes the generation and dissemination of the information , although there is also the risk of spreading false or biased data.
Wikipedia must face daily vandalism . There are activists who edit the contents for ideological reasons and who try to discredit those who think differently. On the other hand, some people purposely modify the articles with false information to demonstrate the unreliable encyclopedia.
However, Wikipedia has several tools to reverse the attacks, from employees who review and block certain sensitive items to avoid conflicts, to technological systems that are in a position to automatically detect vandalism.
Specifically, among the most important professionals who are an essential part of this encyclopedia we should refer to librarians, who are responsible for preventing certain users from editing the information, or so-called edition suppressors. As the name implies, these are the ones responsible for verifying the identities of the users.
There are other projects managed by the Wikimedia Foundation that complement the Wikipedia proposal, such as Wiktionary (a free dictionary), Wikibooks (a collection of textbooks and tutorials free access), Wikiquote (a compendium of famous phrases in different languages) and Wikinews (free content news).
However, we can not forget about wikiviajes, which is a completely free guide with free access that allows you to obtain tourist information from multiple corners of the world, or from wikiversity, a very useful tool for teachers.