After getting slammed for some inaccuracies and having some idiots try to jump-start a class action suit against it, Wikipedia got some much needed good news today when Nature reported that Wikipedia is actually pretty accurate. In fact, it’s about as accurate in covering scientific topics as the Encyclopedia Britannica, according to Nature:
[A]n expert-led investigation carried out by Nature- the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica’s coverage of science- suggests that such high-profile examples are the exception rather than the rule.
The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three.
That’s good and not unexpected news for those of us who believe Wikipedia is a great example of the future of the collaborative internet.