Veropedia: Wikipedia articles verified.

Launched in October last year “Veropedia is a collaborative effort by a group of Wikipedians to collect the best of Wikipedia’s content, clean it up, vet it, and save it for all time. These articles are stable and cannot be edited. The result is a quality stable version that can be trusted by students, teachers, and anyone else who is looking for top-notch, reliable information.

 

A team of “experts” take hold of some of the more volatile material on Wikipedia, controlling it, to try to make the information more stable and reliable. The articles must meet a fairly strict set of standards: no “citation needed” tags, no dead external links, no disambiguation and no fair use images. Although the articles are vetted by “academic experts,” though site organizers say it is not an academic driven outfit. Wikipedians will still write the articles. This seems to be more like the old editorial style of years past, done to allow readers to have more trust in the veracity of the information in the articles. Veropedia is supposed to help improve the quality of Wikipedia because contributors must improve an article on Wikipedia, fixing up all the flaws, until a quality version can be imported to Veropedia.

I allow my students to use Wikipedia but have always stressed that they must check the information with other sources. This, of course, should always have been done but it is even more important when it comes to articles in Wikipedia. Wikipedia has been both celebrated and panned. Its strength is that anyone can edit it, meaning there are thousands of people out there to improve every article. Its weakness, of course, is that anyone can edit it Faults and problems are picked up and changed quite quickly but when the student used the information it may not  have been accurate. There are other reasons to use Wikipedia such as breaking news. A natural disaster for instance is ideal to follow on Wikipedia as it responds so quickly as members of the internet community combine to increase the overall information known.

However, back to Veropedia. There are now 5794 verified articles and it is slowly increasing. You can search it a number of ways: all articles, recent changes, and there is a comic view. You still have latest articles, today in history, featured articles and there is also a featured category. This week it is dinosaurs

Choosing Tyrannosaurus you get the page below, very similar in style to Wikipedia. The information is fine in itself and you can easily follow the links to more information, just as in Wikipedia. The articles in each were extensive. I will take time tonight to examine them more closely and compare them.

The other main difference between Wikipedia and Veropedia is that Veropedia is a for-profit site andit aims to be solely supported by advertising in the future. It’s an interesting way to try to monetize all of the information contributed by the huge group of Wikipedia volunteers.

So the question is: Does Veropedia add anything? Since most people seem fairly satisfied with the accuracy of Wikipedia, at least enough for their needs, is there a great need for Veropedia? If someone thinks that Wikipedia is not reliable enough,  are they any more likely to put their faith in the people behind Veropedia? It is an interesting concept and I will have to investigate sooner. At the moment, I find Wikipedia very useful as an example in the value of verifying research material and developing the habit, in my students, of using more than one information source when conducting research.

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. What it adds is that (a) all articles on Veropedia are a Wikipedia article version pulled in (b) the people working on Veropedia are Wikipedia editors – you can’t fix a Veropedia article without fixing the Wikipedia source article. So improvements aren’t forked.

  2. […] tsheko Paul Stewart put me onto Deletionpedia, a wonderfully annihilistic-sounding encyclopedia. Rhonda Powling has blogged about Veropedia, a verified Wikipedia, so I thought it would be interesting to check […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: