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(Wikipedia) - English Wikipedia   (Redirected from En.wikipedia.org) English Wikipedia Web address Slogan Commercial? Type of site Registration Users Content license Owner Created by Launched
Screenshot The homepage of the English Wikipedia.
The Free Encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
Internet encyclopedia project
Optional (but required to create articles)
Creative Commons Attribution/ Share-Alike 3.0 (most text also dual-licensed under GFDL) Media licensing varies
Wikimedia Foundation
Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger
15 January 2001

The English Wikipedia is the English-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Founded on 15 January 2001 and reaching four million articles by July 2012, it was the first edition of Wikipedia and, as of September 2014, has the most articles (more than twice as many as the next in rank, the Swedish Wikipedia). As of February 2015, nearly 13.7% of articles in all Wikipedias belong to the English-language edition. This share has gradually declined from more than 50% in 2003, due to the growth of Wikipedias in other languages. There are 4,727,707 articles on the site (live count). In December 2012, the combined text of the English Wikipedia''s articles totaled roughly 9.7 gigabytes.

The Simple English Wikipedia is a variation, with most of the articles using a basic level of English vocabulary. There is also the Old English (Ænglisc/Anglo-Saxon) Wikipedia.

  • 1 Pioneering edition
  • 2 Users and editors
    • 2.1 Arbitration Committee
  • 3 Controversies
    • 3.1 Varieties of English
  • 4 Varieties of English
  • 5 Quality-wise distribution of articles
  • 6 Graphics
  • 7 Internal news publications
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 External links

Pioneering edition

The English Wikipedia was the first Wikipedia edition and has remained the largest. It has pioneered many ideas as conventions, policies or features which were later adopted by some of the other-language Wikipedia editions. These ideas include "featured articles", the neutral-point-of-view policy, navigation templates, the sorting of short "stub" articles into sub-categories, dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration, and weekly collaborations.

The English Wikipedia has adopted features from the German Wikipedia, and from smaller editions. These features include verified revisions from the German Wikipedia (dewiki), and town population-lookup templates from the Dutch Wikipedia (nlwiki).

Although the English Wikipedia stores images and audio files, as well as text files, many of the images have been moved to Wikimedia Commons with the same name, as passed-through files. However, the English Wikipedia also has fair-use images and audio/video files (with copyright restrictions), most of which are not allowed on Commons.

Many of the most active participants in the Wikimedia Foundation, and the developers of the MediaWiki software that powers Wikipedia, are English Wikipedia users.

Users and editors English Wikipedia statistics Number of user accounts Number of articles Number of files Number of administrators
24,180,085 4,727,707 848,295 1,365

The English Wikipedia reached 4,000,000 registered user accounts on 1 April 2007, just a little over a year since it had crossed a threshold of 1,000,000 registered user accounts in late February 2006.

Over 800,000 editors have edited Wikipedia more than 10 times. 300,000 editors edit Wikipedia every month; of these, over 30,000 perform more than 5 edits per month, and a little over 3,000 perform more than 100 edits per month. By 24 November 2011, a total of 500 million edits had been performed on the English Wikipedia.

As the largest Wikipedia edition, and because English is such a widely used language, the English Wikipedia draws many users and editors whose native language is not English. Such users may seek information from the English Wikipedia rather than the Wikipedia of their native language because the English Wikipedia tends to contain more information about general subjects. Successful collaborations have developed between non-native English speakers who add content to the English Wikipedia and native English speakers who act as copyeditors for them.

Arbitration Committee Main article: Arbitration Committee (English Wikipedia)

The English Wikipedia has an Arbitration Committee (also known as ArbCom) that consists of a panel of editors that imposes binding rulings with regard to disputes between other editors of the online encyclopedia. The Committee was created by Jimmy Wales on 4 December 2003 as an extension of the decision-making power he had formerly held as owner of the site.

When initially founded, the Committee consisted of 12 arbitrators divided into three groups of four members each. Since then, the Committee has gradually expanded to its membership to 18 arbitrators.

Like other aspects of the English Wikipedia, Wikipedia''s sister projects have emulated the Arbitration Committee with their own similar versions. In 2007, an Arbitration Committee was founded on the German Wikipedia called the Schiedsrichter.

Controversies Main article: Criticism of Wikipedia See also: Wikipedia biography controversy and Essjay controversy

Incidents of cyberbullying on Wikipedia have been reported in the mainstream press. The Glen A. Wilson High School was the subject of such a threat in 2008, and a 14-year-old boy was arrested for making a threat against Niles West High School on Wikipedia in 2006.

A 2013 study from Oxford University concluded that the most disputed articles on the English Wikipedia tended to be broader issues, while on other language Wikipedias the most disputed articles tended to be regional issues; this is due to the English language''s status as a global lingua franca, which means that many who edit the English Wikipedia do not speak English as a native language. The study stated that the most disputed entries on the English Wikipedia were: George W. Bush, Anarchism, Muhammad, List of WWE personnel, Global warming, Circumcision, United States, Jesus, Race and intelligence, and Christianity.

Varieties of English

One controversy in the English Wikipedia concerns which national variety of the English language is to be preferred, with the most commonly advocated candidates being American English and British English. Perennial suggestions range from standardizing upon a single form of English to forking the English Wikipedia project. A style guideline states, "the English Wikipedia has no general preference for a major national variety of the language" and "an article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the appropriate variety of English for that nation". An article should use spelling and grammar variants consistently; for example, color and colour are not to be used in the same article, since they represent American and British English, respectively. The guide also states that an article must remain in its original national variant.

There has been a similar issue in the Chinese language Wikipedia concerning regional differences in writing. Efforts at a language fork for Portuguese Wikipedia have failed, and succeeded for Norwegian Wikipedia.

Varieties of English

Andrew Lih wrote that the English Wikipedia "didn''t have the chance to go through a debate over whether there should be a British English Wikipedia or an American English Wikipedia" because the English Wikipedia was the original edition. Editors agreed to use U.S. spellings for primarily American topics and British spellings for primarily British topics. In 2009 Lih wrote, "No doubt, American spellings tend to dominate by default just because of sheer numbers."

Quality-wise distribution of articles

Quality-wise distribution of over 4.6 million articles and lists on the English Wikipedia, as of 6 September 2014

  Featured articles (0.11%)   Featured lists (0.04%)   A class (0.03%)   Good articles (0.49%)   B class (2.16%)   C class (3.90%)   Start class (25.50%)   Stub class (54.12%)   Lists (3.46%)   Unassessed (10.29%)

In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English Wikipedia introduced an assessment scale of the quality of articles. The range of quality classes begins with "Stub" (very short pages), followed by "Start", "C" and "B" (in increasing order of quality). Community peer review is needed for the article to enter one of the highest quality classes: either "A", "good article" or the highest, "featured article". Of the total of about 4.4 million articles assessed as of 11 December 2013, approximately five thousand are featured articles (0.1%). One featured article per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia.

Researcher Giacomo Poderi found that articles tend to reach featured status via the intensive work of a few editors. A 2010 study found unevenness in quality among featured articles and concluded that the community process is ineffective in assessing the quality of articles.

  • Percentages of articles written in various language families. In March 2013, 16.76% of articles were in English.

  • The countries in which the English Wikipedia is the most popular language version of Wikipedia are shown in red.

  • Top 25 contributor countries to the English Wikipedia. Dark green: Native English speaking countries; light green: countries with English as a secondary language.

  • Play media

    In April 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation conducted a usability study on the English Wikipedia, questioning users about the editing mechanism.

Bar chart, origin of edits
Origin of edits (2014/1 – 2014/3)
United States    38.3%
United Kingdom    13.2%
India    6.9%
Canada    5.4%
Australia    3.6%
Unknown    2.9%
Philippines    2.6%
Germany    1.5%
Brazil    1.1%
Italy    1.0%
Ireland    1.0%
Pakistan    0.9%
France    0.8%
Malaysia    0.8%
Netherlands    0.8%
Indonesia    0.8%
China    0.7%
New Zealand    0.7%
Spain    0.7%
Iran    0.7%
Mexico    0.5%
Sweden    0.5%
Russia    0.5%
Greece    0.5%
Turkey    0.5%
Other    13.1%
Internal news publications

Community-produced news publications include The Signpost which has been published since January 2005 on English Wikipedia. Other past and present community news publications include the "Wikiworld" web comic, the Wikipedia Weekly podcast, and newsletters of specific WikiProjects like The Bugle from WikiProject Military History and the monthly newsletter from The Guild of Copy Editors. There are also a number of publications from the Wikimedia Foundation and multilingual publications such as the Wikimedia Blog and This Month in Education.

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