Journal studies Wikipedia

Associated Press
Published December 16, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that relies on volunteers to pen nearly 4-million articles, is about as accurate in covering scientific topics as Encyclopedia Britannica, the scientific journal Nature wrote.

The finding, based on a side-by-side comparison of articles covering a broad swath of the scientific spectrum, comes as Wikipedia, founded by Jimmy Wales of St. Petersburg, faces criticism over its accuracy.

Nature said said it was the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia to Britannica. Based on 42 articles reviewed by experts, the average scientific entry in Wikipedia contained four errors or omissions, while Britannica had three.

Next month, Wikipedia plans to begin testing a new mechanism for reviewing the accuracy of its articles.