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Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia, written collaboratively by people from all around the world. The site is a wiki, which means that anyone can edit entries simply by clicking on the edit this page link. Wikipedia is a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

For help topics, questions and contact information, see Help:Contents.


Wikipedia history

For more details on this topic, see History of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia statistics

For more details on this topic, see Wikipedia:Statistics.

There are 13,000 active contributors working on over 1,800,000 articles in more than 100 languages. As of today, there are 811,441 articles in English; every day hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new articles to enhance the amount of knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia. Visitors do not need any special qualifications to contribute, and people of all ages help to write Wikipedia articles.

All the text in Wikipedia, and mostly images and other content, is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the GFDL license ensures the content will remain freely distributable and reproducible (see the copyright notice and the content disclaimer for more information).

Exploring Wikipedia

Many visitors come to this site to acquire knowledge. The second reason is to share knowledge. In fact, at this very instant, several articles are being improved. You can view the changes at the Recent changes page. New articles are also being recorded. Many different kinds of people help to write Wikipedia articles.

Wikipedia also has a lot of projects. The hope of any contributor is to provide useful and accurate information to others, and the projects help coordinate efforts. Most articles start as stubs, but after many contributions, they can become featured articles.

If you are searching for free information about a subject you can't find in Wikipedia, you may want to request articles or ask a question on the reference desk. You can also decide to view a random article.

Contributing to Wikipedia

Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia by clicking on the Edit this page tab in an article. Before starting to contribute however, you should check out some handy helping tools such as the tutorial and the policies and guidelines, as well as our welcome page.

Behind Wikipedia

Wikipedia uses the MediaWiki software. It's an open-source program that is used on all WikiMedia projects.

The hardware supporting the various projects is based on almost 100 servers hosted in various hosting centers around the world. Full descriptions of the various servers are available on this meta page.

For technical information about Wikipedia you can check out the Technical FAQs.

How to contact project members

If you need more information, the first place to go is the Help:Contents. To contact individual contributors, leave a message on their talk page. Standard places to ask policy and project-related questions are the village pump, online, and the Wikipedia mailing lists, over e-mail. You can also reach other Wikipedians via IRC and instant messenger.

There is also a meta-Wikipedia, a site for coordinating the various Wikipedia projects (and abstract discussions of policy and direction), and there are many different places for submitting bug reports and feature requests.

For a full list of contact options, see: Wikipedia:Contact us.

Opinions and objections

Many people love to explore or contribute to Wikipedia. There are articles on the strengths of Wikipedia, replies to common objections and others.

Versions found in other languages

Wikipedia encyclopedia languages with over 100,000 articles
Deutsch (German) · Français (French) · Italiano (Italian) · 日本語 (Japanese) · Nederlands (Dutch) · Polski (Polish) · Svenska (Swedish)

Complete list · Multilingual coordination · Start a Wikipedia in another language

Sister projects

Wikipedia is hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, which operates several other multilingual and free-content projects:

Dictionary and thesaurus
Free textbooks and manuals
Collection of quotations
The free library
Directory of species
Free content news source
Shared media repository
Wikimedia project coordination

See also Wikipedia:Paper edition

Personal tools