While it is fashionable in scholarly circles to look askance at citations from Wikipedia, the reality is that articles on Wikipedia are often as good or better than other encyclopedias that charge for access and are usually far more current. Articles are reviewed by teams of volunteers consisting of academics with credentials in relevant areas. In addition, the democratic nature of Wikipedia means that inaccurate information, unbalanced perspectives, and contributions of insufficient quality do not remain unchallenged for long.
In 2003, the Wikimedia Foundation began and now supports other valuable repositories of materials, including:
- Wikimedia Commons, a media repository containing more than 7,700,000 freely usable images, videos, and sound files
- Wikibooks, a project to create free textbooks
- Wiktionary, a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus
- Wikisource, a library of source texts containing more than 474,000 proofread pages in 19 languages
- Wikinews, a citizen news website
- Wikiversity, an interactive learning platform
- Wikiquote, a collection of quotations
- Wikispecies, a directory of life on Earth
Around this time each year, Wikipedia asks for contributions to support its work. There are no ads on any of Wikimedia's sites, so contributions are their only source of revenue. If you benefit from this free online resource, then I hope you will visit their contribution page and make a donation. And if you have expertise in any field of learning, I hope you will join Wikipedia and volunteer by contributing and editing content.