Wikipedia: The People Have Spoken

It is gratifying to read Jimmy Wales's thank-you message for having raised 7.5 million dollars to support Wikipedia.  There is still a lingering disapproval of Wikipedia among librarians and educators.  It is still not thought good enough to cite, but many of us recommend it as a starting point for a search, because the references and external links are generally very good, and save us a lot of work.

I've compared entries in Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, and the EB, when it covers a topic, unquestionably wins on style.  You sense a university lecturer at work.  If you need an entry on , oh, say, the Boer War, the EB will have the better entry.  But it is not free, and if you purchase the CD-ROM version, as I did, you often feel circumscribed.  The entries don't lead you out into the greater Web with hyperlinks, as Wikipedia does.  Admittedly, I have the 2004 edition of the EB.

And Wikipedia has so many articles that you will never find in another encyclopedia:  entries on IBM mainframes, for example.

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