Wikipedia ( /ˌwɪkɪˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/ wik-i-pee-dee-ə) is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 18 million articles (over 3.6 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. Wikipedia was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking around seventh among all websites on Alexa and having 365 million readers.
The name Wikipedia was coined by Larry Sanger and is a portmanteau of wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia.
Wikipedia's departure from the expert-driven style of encyclopedia building and the large presence of unacademic content has been noted several times. When Time magazine recognized You as its Person of the Year for 2006, acknowledging the accelerating success of online collaboration and interaction by millions of users around the world, it cited Wikipedia as one of several examples of Web...