Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Rebecca J. Rosen writes that it may seem impossible for an encyclopedia of everything to ever near completion, but at least for the major articles on topics like big wars, important historical figures, central scientific concepts, the English-language Wikipedia is pretty well filled out. "After an encyclopedia reaches 100,000 articles, the pool of good material shrinks. By the time one million articles are written, it must tax ingenuity to think of something new. Wikipedia," writes historian and Wikipedia editor Richard Jensen, "passed the four-million-article mark in summer 2012." With the exciting work over, editors are losing interest. In the spring of 2012, 3,300 editors contributed more than 100 edits per month each — that's a 31 percent drop from spring of 2007, when that number was 4,800. For example, take a look at the Wikipedia article for the War of 1812 which runs 14,000 words cobbled together by 3,000 editors. Today, the War of 1812 page has many more readers than it did in 2008 — 623,000 compared with 434,000 — but the number who make a change has dropped precipitously, from 256 to just 28. Of those original 256, just one remains active. The reason, Jensen believes, is that the article already has had so many edits, there is just not that much to do. Jensen says that Wikipedia should now devote more resources toward getting editors access to higher-quality scholarship (in private databases like JSTOR), admission to military-history conferences, and maybe even training in the field of historiography, so that they could bring the articles up to a more polished, professional standard. "Wikipedia is now a mature reference work with a stable organizational structure and a well-established reputation. The problem is that it is not mature in a scholarly sense (PDF).""
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