Myxomatosis. The Order of Canada. Noble gas. Catherine de' Medici. The History of Superman? Whether you're doing serious research on the Web or just settling an argument, it's easy to get caught up in Wikipedia's two million articles. And that's not such a bad thing. But how'd all the information get there in the first place? And how can you tell if it's reliable?
Or say you want to become a part of Wikipedia and make your own contributions. Where do you begin?
In How Wikipedia Works, you'll learn the skills required to use and contribute to the world's largest reference work-like what constitutes good writing and research and how to work with images and templates.
With insight, anecdotes, and tips from three Wikipedia veterans, you'll learn how to:
Find information and evaluate the quality and reliability of articles
Contribute to existing articles by copyediting, writing new material, and fact-checking
Add new articles that conform to Wikipedia's guidelines and best practices-so that your hard work won't be deleted
Communicate with other Wikipedians through Talk pages, discussion forums, direct messaging, and more
Understand Wikipedia's policies and procedures and how they're created and enforced
Resolve content disputes and deal with vandals and other malicious editors
Wikipedia is made up of people just like you: students, professors, and everyday experts and fans. With about 10,000 articles added to Wikipedia each week, there are plenty of opportunities to join this global community. How Wikipedia Works explains how you can make the Web's go-to source for information even better. Instead of wondering where to begin, the question will be "How far will you go?"
Phoebe Ayers (user:phoebe) is a science and engineering reference librarian at the University of California, Davis. She has been involved with Wikipedia since 2003 and is an organizer of the Wikimania conferences.