During its brief existence Wikipedia has proved astonishingly successful with 2.8 million articles in English alone available freely to all with access to the internet. The online encyclopedia can be seen as the 21st century’s version of earlier historical attempts to gather the world’s knowledge into one place - this unique book offers a description of some of these earlier attempts. O’Sullivan follows with a thorough analysis of Wikipedia itself, suggesting how to approach and contribute to the site, and what can be gained from using it. Writing in an accessible style the author takes a socio-historical approach and argues that by looking at communities of practice in the past we can come to understand the radical, even political, nature of Wikipedia. The book will have a broad appeal to anyone interested in the development of this unique project, including information management professionals but also historians, sociologists, educators and students.

chapter |4 pages


part |2 pages

Part I Groups in History

chapter 1|8 pages

Group Theory

chapter 2|10 pages

The Library of Alexandria

chapter 3|10 pages

The Royal Society

chapter 4|12 pages

The Republic of Letters

chapter 6|12 pages

The Left Book Club

part |2 pages

Part II Wikipedia

chapter 7|6 pages

Social Sites

chapter 8|8 pages

Wikipedia: Aims

chapter 9|8 pages

Wikipedia: The Community

chapter 10|12 pages

Wikipedia: Structure

chapter 11|8 pages

Wikipedia: Transaction Costs

chapter 12|8 pages

Wikipedia and the Public

chapter 13|8 pages

Wikipedia and the Nature of Knowledge

part |2 pages

Part III Using Wikipedia

chapter 14|6 pages

Browsing Wikipedia

chapter 15|40 pages

Assessing Wikipedia

chapter 16|6 pages

Contributing to Wikipedia