|This page in a nutshell: Everyone—including you—can make improvements to the encyclopedia.|
You do ... Yes, anyone can be bold and edit an existing article or create a new one, and volunteers do not need to have any formal training. The people who create and edit articles in Wikipedia come from many countries, with individuals who bring something different to the table, whether it be researching skills, technical expertise, writing prowess or organizational skills, but most importantly a willingness to help. Any contributor to this encyclopedia, unregistered and registered alike, is called a "Wikipedian", or, more formally, an "editor". Almost all Wikipedians are volunteers. With the increased maturity and visibility of Wikipedia, other categories of Wikipedians have emerged, such as Wikipedians in residence and students with assignments related to editing Wikipedia.
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13% of editors are under 17.
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14% are in the group 18–21.
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26% are 22–29.
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19% are 30–39.
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28% editors are aged 40+.
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59% of the editors are aged 17 to 40.
The English Wikipedia currently has 38,738,398 users who have registered a username. Only a minority of users contribute regularly (133,318 have edited in the last 30 days), and only a minority of those contributors participate in community discussions. An unknown but relatively large number of unregistered Wikipedians also contribute to the site.
The type of people who were drawn to writing an encyclopedia for fun tend to be pretty smart people.
Contributions come from diverse demographic and ethnographic segments:
The content of any particular article is subject to editorial discretion developed via consensus. Wikipedia is not paper, which means we can write almost an unlimited amount on any topic. Still, there are limits on what we ought to include, and especially how we ought to write it. When an article is incomplete or inaccurate, you can edit the article to be more accurate and/or useful. Someone may place a notice at the top of the article indicating that it needs to be cleaned up. It is also possible to create a new article to share information that is not yet in Wikipedia.
The way to decide whether a particular statement is accurate is to find independent reliable sources to affirm that statement, such as books, magazine articles, television news stories, trade journals, or other websites. For more guidance on evaluating the accuracy of Wikipedia articles, see researching with Wikipedia. It is Wikipedia's policy to add to the encyclopedia only statements that are verifiable and not original research. The Wikipedia style guide encourages editors to cite sources. Detailed citations allow readers of the article to easily verify the content in question.
When a large group of people work to compile information on a given topic, disputes may arise. A useful feature of Wikipedia is the ability to tag an article, or a section of the article, as subject of a dispute about a neutral point of view. This feature is especially popular for controversial topics, topics subject to changing current events or other topics where divergent opinions exist. To resolve the dispute, the interested editors will share their points of view on the article's talk page. They will attempt to reach consensus so that all valid perspectives can be fairly represented. This allows Wikipedia to be a place not only of information, but of collaboration. Many users of Wikipedia consult the page history of an article in order to assess the number, and the perspective, of people who contributed to the article. You may also consult the talk page of any article to see what other readers and editors have to say about it.
Wikipedia's best articles are highlighted in the list of featured articles. These articles were granted "featured" status because they were judged to be of high quality by other editors and users. (If later edits reduce the quality of a featured article, a user can nominate an article for removal from the list.)