- It’s understandable that Wikipedia has recently received so much negative news given that it bills itself as “the free encyclopedia that anybody can edit.” After all, it is difficult to believe that a live encyclopedia that is truthful and neutral could be accurately maintained by millions of anonymous individuals. Wikipedia is a nonprofit organization that relies on hundreds of volunteers to keep it running, but very few of these people have the training and expertise of a paid writer or editor. A cultural bias appears to have swept over many of the site’s entries, replacing cold, hard facts with broad consensus. The site is vulnerable to vandalism, which is another issue. People have turned to other sources of information as a result of these issues and the nearly obsessive conduct of many of the volunteers (try adding an external link to the site without having it removed). Try one of the seven Wikipedia alternatives listed below if you’re seeking for a different kind of online encyclopedia.
A website called Scholarpedia was created using the same MediaWiki platform as Wikipedia. There are obviously notable variations, but it almost seems like a mirror site. You guessed it—scholars—write the articles on Scholarpedia. Although the site is still editable by anybody like a wiki, revisions must first be approved before they are made final. Experts must be either invited or elected before they are given certain topics. By doing this, vandalism is never an issue and all information submitted to the website is accurate and properly credited.
A wiki called Citizendium appears to represent a middle ground between Scholarpedia’s stringent editorial control and Wikipedia’s open-ended policy. In an effort to improve upon Wikipedia’s design, Larry Sanger, one of its creators, founded Citizendium. All articles must get editorial team approval, which the site describes as “soft oversight.” A disclaimer will be included for articles that have not been vetted, which helps stop readers from believing possibly misleading material. In addition, unlike Wikipedia, you have to register with your real name in order to contribute. Although the website is only in beta, it is already gaining a following and Sanger believes it will “probably succeed” as a Wikipedia substitute.
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online
This website is your finest resource for unbiased, reliable information. Every book of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is now available online, together with multimedia elements and a simple search engine. This is not a wiki community, so the updates to the entries on the site are made by experts. This website’s only downside is that it costs money. It costs $69.95 a year to subscribe to Encyclopedia Britannica Online in order to have full access. However, because the annual cost is significantly less expensive than purchasing the encyclopedic set in book form, this is a wise investment for students. Additionally, unlike Wikipedia, major colleges will recognize the website as a trustworthy source when mentioning content in a research paper.
Another online encyclopedia that avoids the issues that Wikipedia has is MSN Encarta. Professionals wrote and fact-checked each entry, and the website will never be defaced. However, this website demands a subscription charge, just like Encyclopedia Britannica Online. You may access all of MSN Encarta, including the site’s thesaurus, globe atlas, and other study resources for students, for $29.95 per year.
The largest educational book distributor in the world, Pearson Education, is home to the free online encyclopedia Infoplease. The site’s whole content was compiled from reputable sources like the Random House Unabridged Dictionary and the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. When compared to Wikipedia, entries could be smaller, but you can be sure that all the information is correct and unaffected by outside users. Additionally, Infoplease offers a variety of multimedia tools for researchers, especially those taking distance education courses.
In response to Wikipedia’s apparent left-wing bias, the conservative, Christian-influenced wiki encyclopedia Conservapedia was founded. This website’s content is devoid of profanity, sexual content, and other offensive material as determined by the editorial team. This website can be useful if you believe that Wikipedia has a strong bias toward liberal viewpoints. The seven Commandments of the website must be adhered to by every Conservapedia user.
An ambitious parody of Wikipedia is called Uncyclopedia. It might be interpreted as a hyperbolic retort to Wikipedia users, commonly known as “Wikipedians,” who appear to take the website far too seriously. The similarities between the two websites are startling and expertly handled, from the logo on the home page to the layout of each item. Don’t misunderstand me, though. Uncyclopedia does not claim to be factual, which may be another jab at Wikipedia’s occasional errors. Check out this humorous website if you are tired of Wikipedia’s many flaws and want to have a good time.