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English Wikipedia hits 5-Million articles milestone

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November 5
8:27 PM 2015

After fifteen years of being an online encyclopaedia for people all over the world, the English-language version of Wikipedia now has five million articles.

According to Gizmodo, the article that hit the five million mark was an entry on persoonia terminalis, which is a shrub that can be found in eastern Australia. The entry was made by Cas Liber, who is a volunteer from Australia and has contributed 1,500 articles to the site. The Wikipedia community said there still is a long way to go. 100 million more articles are needed to cover all the human knowledge. To have an idea of how much more articles are needed to cover human knowledge, 44.7 million more articles are needed for the science category alone. According to the online encyclopaedia, the existing articles are inaccurate and needs much editing. Also, many articles only provide basic information and most are still stub pages.

Telegraph reported that Wikipedia has racked up a total of 3 billion words, which amounts to 30 terabytes of data. With 5 million articles, Wikipedia is not the largest encyclopaedia of all time. Before the online encyclopaedia, Yongie Encyclopaedia of 1408 had the biggest record of human knowledge. It had 22,937 manuscript rolls.

Wikimedia Foundation recently criticised Wikipedia's massive media coverage. It said, "Both qualitatively and quantitatively, news coverage is inadequate for a website and movement as large and influential as Wikipedia and Wikimedia."

The English-language version of Wikipedia reached 2 million articles in 2007. By 2009, it had already three million. And then it reached four million by 2012. Following the English language, Swedish is the next most popular language in the world with two million articles in Wikipedia. It is followed by the German language with 1.87 million, Dutch with 1.84, and French with 1.69 million.

In another note, Wikimedia Foundation has recently supported an art installation that would have a 7,471-volume printed version of Wikipedia and it would cost $500,000.

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