Wikipedia is a great place to start any research. You are bound to find something on a topic you are searching for.
I have to say that Sverker Johansson has done a truly remarkable thing - outstanding actually - and no doubt I have seen some of his pieces.
He must have a phenomenal degree of knowledge.
My only reservation is that since Wiki contains editable text it is always wise to check out a few other sources.
That is not to say Sverker Johansson made any mistakes. It simply means that anyone else could have re-edited his work. That is why I always use it with caution.
A SWEDISH academic has emerged as the author of nearly three million entries on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.Sverker Johansson, who has written about one in ten of Wikipedia’s 30 million pages, told The Times yesterday that he would make sure every author in the British Library’s catalogue had an entry in the encyclopedia. He will turn to the matter once he has chronicled every species of animal and plant, living or dead.
Wikipedia is a collaboratively written, not-for-profit online service that allows anybody with an internet connection to write and edit its pages. It has half a billion viewers every month.
Mr Johansson’s prolific authorship has been made possible by software that sucks information from the internet, databases and other digital sources, pieces it together and publishes it as Wikipedia entries. The software, known as Lsjbot, was designed by the 53-year-old Swede.
He began testing Lsjbot late in 2011 before a full launch in February 2012. Lsjbot allows him to create up to 10,000 new Wikipedia entries a day.
“I thought about the ultimate vision of Wikipedia, which is to provide the sum of all human knowledge to everybody on the planet,” he said. “You do this by taking knowledge that’s only available to specialists and making it available to everybody. I really believe in that vision. This is the best way I can help achieve it.”
He said that he saw other people “doing similar things on a small scale” but believed he could do it “better and bigger”.
His methods have not been welcomed in every quarter of Wikipedia’s community of editors. “The majority are happy and they share the same vision, but there’s an unhappy minority,” he said. “This is for a couple of reasons.
“First, the articles are boring. They’re very simple and they’re all alike. They lack literary merit. I accept that completely but the purpose of Wikipedia is not to provide artistic flair. It is to provide information. Secondly, they believe certain things about the role of the writer.” Wikipedia, he added, “is not for the writers. It’s for the readers.”
Mr Johansson, who was born in Lund, southern Sweden, is the director of education and research at Dalarna University. He is the author of Origins of Language, which has been described as an “unusual” book. His most recently published academic paper examined Neanderthal speech.
He has focused on animal and plant entries in the Swedish version of Wikipedia. Once he has completed work in this area, he will focus on other projects. “Animal and plant articles in other languages,” he said. “And authors, for example. I want to go into the catalogue of the British Library and create Wikipedia entries for every author they have.”
The entries that Mr Johansson creates are known by Wikipedia editors as “stubs”. These are essentially the bones of an article which contain basic information, on to which other editors are expected to add flesh.
By James Dean
With thanks to The Australian
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More about Wikipedia from You Tube:
Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia that is supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Volunteers worldwide collaboratively write Wikipedia's 30 million articles in 287 languages, including over 4.4 million in the English Wikipedia. Anyone who can access the site can edit almost any of its articles, which on the Internet comprise the largest and most popular general reference work, ranking sixth globally among all websites on Alexa with an estimated 365 million readers.
Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia on January 15, 2001, the latter creating its name a portmanteau of wiki (the name of a type of collaborative website, from the Hawaiian word for "quick"and encyclopedia.