More on Wikipedia Reliability – Nature Comparison

Thanks to the Stephen’s Lighthouse blog entry on January 3, 2006, for pointing out the December 14, 2005, online article from Nature magazine by Jim Giles comparing Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Brittanica. According to the comparisons of 42 entries/articles undertaken by Nature, both encyclopedias had errors, with the Wikipedia entries averaging about 4 errors per article and the Encyclopedia Brittanica entries averaging about 3 errors per entry. The online article from Nature goes into a lot more detail about the nature of the comparisons and the types of errors caught. The ultimate conclusion you likely draw as a reader of the Nature article is that the reliability of Wikipedia in the areas tested is not that bad given its free and open nature.


  1. Ah yes, Ted, but had that reference tagged the day after publication.
    Footnote to Wikipedia Reliability Debate

    Thursday, December 15th, 2005
    One of our open-source savvy articling students, Jon Smithen, just drew my attention to a piece in this week’s Nature which strongly suggests that Wikipedia’s integrity in the scientific field approaches that of the conventional encyclopaedias. My experience on the legal side endorsed that view too.

    So this really is old news to readers.

  2. Keeping up is hard to do. Wasn’t that a song once?

    Especially when your laptop machine is pop-flooded and goes in for repairs, as Ted’s was.

    I wonder if we’re getting to the stage where it makes sense to “search first and post later.”