Skip to Main Content

Wikipedia Research Guide: All About Wikipedia

Resources for using Wikipedia and information about NEIU's Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a free content, multilingual online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers through a model of open collaboration, using a wiki-based editing system. Individual contributors, also called editors, are known as Wikipedians. It is the largest and most-read reference work in history, and consistently one of the 15 most popular websites ranked by Alexa; as of 2021, Wikipedia was ranked the 13th most popular site. It is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded mainly through small donations.

Using Wikipedia for Research

Wikipedia is generally reliable. That means it is a good place to look for background information on a topic.

However, it is best to avoid citing Wikipedia in your research. Instead, use Wikipedia to find sources by looking in the References or Bibliography sections of an article. These are usually located at the bottom of the page.