From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Screenshot from the Wayback Machine
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available inEnglish, French, Spanish, Italian, German
Created byJimmy Wales, Larry Sanger at the Wayback Machine (archived February 15, 2003) at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 April 2000)
Launched9 March 2000; 24 years ago (2000-03-09)
Current statusDefunct since 26 September 2003; succeeded by Wikipedia
The first logo that Nupedia used. It was coded in HTML.

Nupedia was an English-language online encyclopedia. Its articles were written by volunteers and checked by experts. They were licensed as open content. It was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Nupedia was online from March 2000[1] until September 2003. It is mostly known as the website which came before Wikipedia.

Unlike Wikipedia, Nupedia was not a wiki. It also had a long peer-review process for all of its articles. This was supposed to make its articles as good as professional encyclopedias. Nupedia wanted scholars to help build it. Before it shut down, Nupedia had 25 articles[2] that completed its own review routine.

In June 2008, CNET said that Nupedia was one of the greatest closed websites in Internet history.[3]

History[change | change source]

In late 1999, Jimmy Wales began thinking about an online encyclopedia built by volunteers. In January 2000, he hired Larry Sanger to manage it.[1] The project went online on March 9, 2000.[4] By November 2000, only two full articles had been published.[5]

From when it started, Nupedia was a free content encyclopedia.[4] Bomis, Jimmy Wales' company, was going to get money from adverts on the Nupedia website.[5] At first, the project used a license that was made up by Wales and Sanger. Later, it began using the Nupedia Open Content License. In January 2001, it switched to the GNU Free Documentation License. This was because Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation said they should.[6]

Also in January 2001, Nupedia started Wikipedia. At first, it was not meant to be an encyclopedia. Instead, it was meant as a side-project to allow people to work on articles for Nupedia before they were peer reviewed.[7] As Wikipedia got bigger and attracted new users, it began to run without Nupedia. However, Larry Sanger first led activity on Wikipedia. This was because he was the chief editor on Nupedia.

Wikipedia led to the gradual shutdown of Nupedia. Jimmy Wales decided to stop paying Sanger in December 2001.[1] Sanger then left both Nupedia and Wikipedia. After Sanger left, Nupedia became even less noticed than Wikipedia. As Nupedia was used less and less, the idea of changing its articles into Wikipedia articles was sometimes proposed. However, it was never done. After it closed down, Nupedia's articles were moved in to Wikipedia.[8]

Peer review[change | change source]

Nupedia's articles were all peer reviewed. These were the steps they had to follow:

  1. Assignment
  2. Finding a lead reviewer
  3. Lead review
  4. Open review
  5. Lead copyediting (when articles had their grammar, punctuation and layout changed to look better)
  6. Open copyediting
  7. Final approval and markup

People who wrote for Nupedia were supposed to be experts in what they wrote about. However, some articles could be written by a good writer, rather than an expert.[9] People who changed content on Nupedia were expected to be "true experts in their fields and (with few exceptions) possess PhDs",[10] which means that they should be experts in what they are changing and (generally) have PhDs.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Poe, Marshall (September 2006). "The Hive". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  2. Shun-Ling, Chen (May 5, 2010). "Self-governing online communities in Web 2.0: privacy, anonymity and accountability in Wikipedia" (PDF). Albany Law Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 30, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  3. Lanxon, Nate (June 5, 2008). "The greatest defunct Web sites and dotcom disasters". CNET. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gouthro, Liane (March 10, 2000). "Building the world's biggest encyclopedia". PC World. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Frauenfelder, Mark (November 21, 2000). "The next generation of online encyclopedias". The Industry Standard/CNN. Archived from the original on February 16, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  6. jwales (January 17, 2001). "Re:GNUPedia == Nupedia?". GNUPedia Project Starting. Slashdot.
  7. Larry Sanger (January 10, 2001). "Let's make a wiki". Nupedia-l mailing list. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on April 14, 2003.
  8. Wikipedia:Nupedia and Wikipedia: Articles copied to Wikipedia
  9. " Editorial Policy Guidelines (Version 3.31)". Nupedia. November 16, 2000. Archived from the original on March 31, 2001. Retrieved June 3, 2010. The rule of thumb an editor should bear in mind is: would an article on this topic be of significantly greater quality if it were written by an expert on the subject? If yes, we will require that the writer be an expert on the subject. If no, nonspecialists (who are good writers) are more than welcome.
  10. "How to be an editor or peer reviewer for Nupedia". Nupedia. Archived from the original on April 10, 2001. Retrieved June 3, 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]