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Wikipedia wants more women

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Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says his site has too many “26-year-old geeky, male” contributors, and is encouraging more women to become involved in his user-edited online encyclopedia.

Wales has launched a recruitment drive to get more women editing Wikipedia’s 3.7million pages, as his typical editor lacks the experience or knowledge to contribute to some areas. The philanthropist explained that company research has revealed that 90% of Wikipedia’s contributors – who are all unpaid – are male and the average age is 26, with a high proportion holding PhD’s "so I don't think they'd mind me calling them geeks".

Speaking at the annual Wikimania conference, Wales said, “At the moment, we are relatively poor in a few areas; for example, biographies of famous women through history and issues surrounding early childcare." The not-for-profit online encyclopaedia, which Wales launched in 2001, is currently “very strong” in some areas, while others suffer from a lack of diversity of contributors.

So if you feel you have a specialist subject or interest that isn’t being covered comprehensively on Wikipedia right now, get involved by logging-on and learning more about how to edit the site's pages.

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