This is a site designed to make it easier to take the core of large published reports and allow anyone to comment on them.


Box 3: Wikipedia — an example of collaborative production

Wikipedia is one of the best-known and best-used sites on the internet. It is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Wikipedia is available in 249 different languages. Users employ a technology known as a 'wiki' to allow visitors to the site to add, remove, edit and change available entries, easily and quickly. Other wikis in a variety of areas are blossoming around the web, such as one for the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Previously, online collaborative systems were the preserve of specialist or professional communities. The changing use of technology has made collaborative production much easier and cheaper. In 2006, the English language Wikipedia registered its one millionth user account, and passed the 1.5 million mark for English articles.

There has been much debate about the accuracy of information published on Wikipedia. A qualitative comparison of the online Britannica and Wikipedia has been published. On 14 December 2005, the scientific journal Nature reported that, within 42 randomly selected general science articles, there were 162 mistakes in Wikipedia versus 123 in Britannica. However, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. characterised Nature's study as flawed and misleading, and called for a 'prompt' retraction.

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