Frequently Asked Questions

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This page addresses some frequently asked questions about Wikimedia UK. For frequently asked questions about Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:FAQ.


Some similar terms are sometimes mistaken for each other:

  • A wiki is a piece of software that allows collaborative editing
  • Wikipedia is the free online encyclopaedia
  • The Wikimedia Foundation is the US charity that operates Wikipedia and other projects
  • Wikimedia UK or WMUK is a charity registered in the UK, independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and devoted to promoting open source and free culture, and to supporting the projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a sister project to Wikipedia, hosting a library of images and other media files

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an online free-content encyclopaedia that anyone can contribute to. It is the most popular general reference work on the internet. [1][2] The vision of Wikipedia is "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment".

There are separate versions of Wikipedia in over 250 different languages. The English language Wikipedia has over 3,000,000 articles and is in the top ten most visited websites both in the world and in the UK. [3]. More than a quarter of internet users in the UK visit Wikipedia. [4]

Who owns Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a collaborative website operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Content on Wikipedia is owned by the individual contributors and licensed under a free copyright license.

The Wikipedia jigsaw globe trademark and other trademarks are owned by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia UK has permission to use these trademarks under the terms of their agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikimedia UK does not control and is not responsible for any content on Wikipedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation has laid down general meta:Terms of Use for Wikipedia and their other projects however the operation of English language Wikipedia is controlled by a community of users, independent of the Wikimedia Foundation. Other similar communities operate the wikipedias in other languages and the other Wikimedia Foundation sites.

Who writes Wikipedia?

Wikipedia has been written and maintained by over 40,000 volunteers. There is no barrier to editing Wikipedia - you can simply click on the "edit" button and get started! (More information)

How reliable is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia's open editing model has led to criticisms that its content is not reliable. However, the only academic study so far to have been done on this subject concluded that it was as reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica. [5]

Editors are encouraged to edit and improve each others work and to watch for and revert vandalism and damage to articles, so most articles do tend to get better over time.

Some academics do not allow citations from Wikipedia or other tertiary sources - we recommend that readers should check the references present in the articles for citable sources.

Who are the Wikimedia Foundation?

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation based in the United States. The Foundation operates the Wikipedia projects as well as nine other projects:

Who are Wikimedia UK?

Wikimedia UK is an independent association formed to promote and support the Wikimedia Foundation projects, and free content generally, in the United Kingdom. We are recognised by the Foundation as the local "chapter". Our support work includes running events promoting free content and providing information to the media.

Is Wikimedia UK a charity?

Wikimedia UK became a registered charity in November 2011.

I have a problem with Wikipedia. How can I fix it?

Wikimedia UK doesn't control wikipedia. You need to go to Wikipedia and look there.

My organisation has a lot of information. How can we work with Wikipedia to share this?

See our ???? page


  1. "Five-year Traffic Statistics for". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  2. Bill Tancer (2007-05-01). "Look Who's Using Wikipedia". Time (magazine).,8599,1595184,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-01. "The sheer volume of content [...] is partly responsible for the site's dominance as an online reference. When compared to the top 3,200 educational reference sites in the U.S., Wikipedia is #1, capturing 24.3% of all visits to the category"  Cf. Bill Tancer (Global Manager, Hitwise), "Wikipedia, Search and School Homework", Hitwise: An Experian company (blog), March 1, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  3. Alexa Rankings GB and Alexa Global Rankings
  4. Internet penetration by country
  5. Wikipedia survives research test, BBC, 2005-12-15

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