In many ways, a Wikipedia service is written collaboratively by the people who use it, has changed the lives of authors, students, professional researchers and everyday-people seeking information. Gone are the expensive volumes of World Book encyclopedias. Dictionaries and other reference books have been relegated to the storage closet due to the influence and use of information sites like Wikipedia.
There is one problem with this picture, however. The reference books of yesteryear were written by professional experts. They were then carefully reviewed by experienced editors for accuracy and ethical input before publication.
In the world of Wikipedia information, however, anyone can add, change, or delete information. Good for bad, right or wrong, the process of adding, editing or deleting Wikipedia pages is surprisingly simple.
Anyone can write and publish their own pages on Wikipedia as long as the page titles are not in use. After entering the desired text to a blank page, simply click the button labeled save page. The article page will soon appear.
Editing a Wikipedia article is just as simple. It’s this easy access to any Wikipedia page by anyone that draws the most criticism by people who question the accuracy of the online information. It’s also the driving factor for Wikipedia staff and volunteers editors to constantly review edited pages for accuracy.
Currently, the Wikipedia community of volunteers who manage and edit pages numbers around 31,000 people. About half of these checkers spend an hour a day or more editing articles.
Adding citations to Wikipedia is a more complicated process. There are a large number of citation formats and rules to follow. The correct use and determining the proper placement on the page are important. Because of this, anyone wishing to add citations to a page should consulate Wikipedia for the proper guidelines.
The ugly practice of spamming is a continuing problem with this open-source site. Wikipedia spam is defined as the inappropriate addition of links or information for the explicit purpose to promote links or ideas or spreading false information. If you are sure someone has added data to a page that is incorrect or is spam in nature, you have three options: edit the page using the edit process, report it to Wikipedia, or delete the bad information yourself.
One internet writing company named ‘GetYourWiki’ provides a monitoring service that ensures any edits made to a client’s pages to be 100% accurate and continually spam free.