Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in accuracy on science entries: Nature


Wikipedia, recently hit by a controversy over a bogus entry on a journalist, comes close in accuracy–in science entries at least–to Britannica, according to a review by Nature magazine.

The review “revealed numerous errors in both encyclopedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three.” Here’s a table listing the number of inaccurate entries.

The journal also surveyed more than 1,000 Nature authors “and found that although more than 70% had heard of Wikipedia and 17% of those consulted it on a weekly basis, less than 10% help to update it.”

There’s an easy solution to inaccuracies in Wikipedia: edit these out yourself. If you know for a fact that an entry is wrong, correct it and keep track of it in case somebody else changes the entry later.

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One Comment

  1. SAW that post. glad you wrote it up. I use WIKIPEDIA all the time. Given that it is FREE and ONLINE makes it a clear choice over Britannica. Besides, it’s EVOLUTIONARY and REDACTIVE — that is its real strength.

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