German Language Wikipedia Better than Brockhaus Online, Analysis Indicates
Second time this year Wikipedia is given high points for accuracy, still behind when it comes to readability
December 5 - St. Petersburg, FL - The German language version of Wikipedia is better than Brockhaus, Germany's commercial encyclopedia, according to an analysis commissioned by Stern Magazine. The popular German publication hired WIND research institute to compare 50 articles from Wikipedia and the Brockhaus online encyclopedia based on their 15 volume edition. On a scale where 1 is the best and 6 is the worst, Wikipedia's average rating was 1.7, while Brockhaus average rating was 2.7.
"This is great news. The community of the German language Wikipedia is thrilled that our hard work has paid off. This really gives us the incentive to continue. This is also symbolic of the wonderful things mass collaboration can produce," states Kurt Jansson, President of the board of Wikimedia Deutschland.
Stern Magazine is a weekly news magazine published in Germany. The WIND Research Institute is located in Cologne. The study assessed articles based on accuracy, completeness, up-to-date information, and ease of reading. In 43 out of the 50 articles, Wikipedia was judged the winner.
Currently, the German-language version Wikipedia is the second biggest, after English, with 673,000 articles.
"We are very happy with the results, and in general we encourage organizations to conduct studies and research projects like this one. The findings are typically positive and reflect well on the Wikimedia projects - and even if they didn't, we would consider that an opportunity to better understand where we're weak, and to fix it," stated Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director.
Earlier this year, the Hewlett Packard Information Dynamics Laboratory studied the editing dynamics of Wikipedia articles. They found that the best quality articles are those that have been edited often by a lot of different people, which the study concluded validates Wikipedia as a "successful collaborative effort". In the study, they stated "Wikipedia article quality continues to increase, on average, as the number of collaborators and number of edits increases."
Wikimedia Deutschland, dedicated to promoting the Wikimedia projects in Germany, is not a stranger to success. In 2007, they were awarded a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection with the goal of fostering the development of articles by experts in the wider field of renewable primary products. Additionally, as hosts of the first Wikipedia Academy held in 2006, Wikimedia Deutschland was successful in recruiting numerous academics to join the project.
Currently, the Wikimedia Foundation is conducting its annual fundraiser, which will run until December 22.