So I have this bee in my bonnet about wikipedia being used for anything at all. Why? Because it’s not peer reviewed: it’s user reviewed, with users with the most reviews having the most powers – even if they make nonsense edits on things they know nothing about. Then there’s the political infighting and the obvious bias when it comes to certain people, cults or religions. Search the Register for many many examples.

So what then? We need some kind of trustworthy encyclopedia, don’t we? Well there are plenty of specific knowledge resources out there, so I’m not going to start on that, but Brittanica or Encarta are both paid systems, so to find out anything you’re going to need to pay.

Fortunately there are three free, peer reviewed alternatives:

1) Conservapedia, which is still user generated, but they have better rules than wikipedia.

2) Citizendium which was set up by a dissatisfied Wikipedia founder and uses experts in the field as well as strips anonymity.

3) Europeana, set up by the EU itself and with considerable help from a whole load of libraries, should be very good indeed. Unfortunately they had no experience with the scale of the project and they keep implementing new hardware in an attempt to keep up with demand. This means the encyclopedia is broken now and again.

There’s also the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, where articles are peer reviewed