Source Wikipedia
The Free Encyclopedia
Publication information
Type Website
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
http://www.wikipedia.orgFree website


Usage Tips

As described on Wikipedia itself:

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Wikipedia ( or ) is a free-access, free content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Those who can access the site and follow its rules can edit most of its articles. Wikipedia is ranked among the ten most popular websites[1] and constitutes the Internet's largest and most popular general reference work.[2][3]

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia on January 15, 2001. Sanger[4] coined , a portmanteau of 'wiki' (from the Hawaiian ) and encyclo'pedia'. Initially only in English, Wikipedia quickly developed similar multilingual versions, differing in content and in editing practices. The English Wikipedia is now one of more than 200 Wikipedias and is the largest with articles. As of February 2014, it had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.[5] Globally, Wikipedia had more than 19 million accounts, out of which there were about 69,000 active editors as of November 2014.

Supporters of Wikipedia's accuracy cite a 2005 survey of Wikipedia published in Nature based on a comparison of 42 science articles with Encyclopædia Britannica, which found that Wikipedia's level of accuracy approached Encyclopædia Britannicas.[6] Critics argue Wikipedia exhibits systemic bias.[7] Wikipedia has been criticized for being a mixture of "truths, half truths, and some falsehoods",[7] and subject to manipulation and spin.[8]

Use as a Genealogy Source

Genealogy is not a area of emphasis for wikipedia, and any genealogical information taken from wikipedia should be confirmed against primary sources. Often wikipedia articles contain very naive interpretations of genealogical data, presenting them as facts when they are incorrect.

For example, the article on William Dummer says, "William Dummer (bapt. September 29, 1677 (O.S.) [= October 10, 1677 (N.S.)] – October 10, 1761)".

First, note that the baptism of William Dummer is found in the records of the Old South Church in Boston as 29 Dec 1678.

Second, note that 10 Oct 1677 is exactly 84 years before the death date of 10 Oct 1761. Since there is no record of William Dummer's birth in the Boston records, guess how this birth date was derived? From the new style death date, his supposed age at death of 84 years is subtracted to get the new style 10 Oct 1677, and that is converted incorrectly to 29 Sep 1677 (since prior to 1700, the adjustment was only 10 days, not 11, so it should have yielded 30 Sep 1677).

Third, note that William Dummer's death is reported in his 84th year, that is, age 83, not 84.

Citation Practice

Wikipedia is cited on WeRelate in two different ways. First, as a source citation and second using a template to pull in the first paragraph of the English Wikipedia article into the WeRelate page.

For detailed guidelines, see Help:Guidelines for use of Wikipedia

Source citation

Common practice:

Cite Wikipedia as the source title and place the article name in the "Record Name" field in the form [[Wikipedia:Article name|Article name]].

Advanced practice:

In general, for electronic online sources which may change at any time, it is good practice to reference the exact version of the source being cited. This can be accomplished by citing the date that the article was accessed and/or providing the permanent article link that can be created by Wikipedia (in the Toolbox located in the left margin of the page). The template {{Wikipedia article}} has been created to provide a simple means of using a permanent article link in source citations. It may be placed in the "Record name" field of the source citation. An example of its usage is provided below.

Referencing an article with the ID number from the permanent link:

Code: {{Wikipedia article|Henry VIII of England|id=404620395}}
Displays as: "Henry VIII of England"

(This practice is not commonly employed on WeRelate because the most common information used from Wikipedia are birth and death dates, which change in the underlying article fairly infrequently; in addition, the template information pulled in (see below) is updated periodically and will reflect those changes.)

Including Wikipedia content

Use the form {{source-wikipedia|Article name}} where you would like the introductory paragraph from the Wikipedia article to appear. The template will be updated with Wikipedia content the following Sunday morning.

Additional Resources

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wikipedia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.