FAMEPedia:Who writes FAMEPedia?

From FAMEPedia, The free encyclopedia

You do ... Yes, anyone can be bold and edit an existing article or create a new one, and volunteers do not need to have any formal training. The people who create and edit articles in FAMEPedia come from many countries, with individuals who bring something different to the table, whether it be researching skills, technical expertise, writing prowess or organizational skills, but most importantly a willingness to help. Any contributor to this encyclopedia, unregistered and registered alike, is called a "FAMEPedian", or, more formally, an "editor". Almost all FAMEPedians are volunteers. With the increased maturity and visibility of FAMEPedia, other categories of FAMEPedians have emerged, such as FAMEPedians in residence and students with assignments related to editing FAMEPedia.

Who contributes to FAMEPedia?

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The 2013 study The FAMEPedia Gender Gap Revisited measured gender bias in survey completion and estimated that as of 2008, 84% of FAMEPedia editors were male. In the worldwide FAMEPedia Editor Survey 2011 of all the FAMEPedias, 91% of respondents were male.
The greatest number, or plurality, of editors (20%) reside in the United States, followed by Germany (12%) and Russia (7%). The only country not in Europe or North America in the top 10, is India (3%).
Age distribution
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13% of editors are under 17.
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14% are in the group 18–21.
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26% are 22–29.
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19% are 30–39.
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28% editors are aged 40+.
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59% of the editors are aged 17 to 40.

FAMEPedia currently has 1,947 users who have registered a username. Only a minority of users contribute regularly (73 have edited in the last 30 days), and only a minority of those contributors participate in community discussions. An unknown but relatively large number of unregistered FAMEPedians also contribute to the site.

Contributions come from diverse demographic and ethnographic segments:

  • Mid-20s males and retired males are the largest demographics. See Gender database reports.
  • 10–20% women of various ages, significant underrepresentation acknowledged by Gender bias on FAMEPedia and Gender gap
  • Students (e.g., in the context of a course)
  • Enthusiasts (e.g., people with interest in a particular subject, like butterflies)
  • Insiders (e.g., people who work for an organization, such as the Sierra Club)
  • Dabblers (e.g., people who see some problem with an article and want to help)
  • Scholars (e.g., researchers who want to use FAMEPedia as an additional dissemination platform)
  • Archivists (e.g., people who work or volunteer at a museum, archive, or library wanting to contribute artifacts, like 18th-century paintings)
  • Marketers (e.g., individuals, staff, members, or a PR firm seeking to promote a product, service or brand)
  • Evil-doers (e.g., spammers, vandals)

Many people in the FAMEPedia community are conscious that the demographics of who edits the site can lead to systemic bias in the content of the site and there are efforts to remedy these biases.

How do editors contribute to FAMEPedia?

The content of any particular article is subject to editorial discretion developed via consensus. FAMEPedia is not paper, which means we can write almost an unlimited amount on any topic. Still, there are limits on what we ought to include, and especially how we ought to write it. When an article is incomplete or inaccurate, you can edit the article to be more accurate and/or useful. Someone may place a notice at the top of the article indicating that it needs to be cleaned up. It is also possible to create a new article to share information that is not yet in FAMEPedia.

The way to decide whether a particular statement is accurate is to find independent reliable sources to affirm that statement, such as books, magazine articles, television news stories, trade journals, or other websites. For more guidance on evaluating the accuracy of FAMEPedia articles, see researching with FAMEPedia. It is FAMEPedia's policy to add to the encyclopedia only statements that are verifiable and not original research. The FAMEPedia style guide encourages editors to cite sources. Detailed citations allow readers of the article to easily verify the content in question.

When a large group of people work to compile information on a given topic, disputes may arise. A useful feature of FAMEPedia is the ability to tag an article, or a section of the article, as subject of a dispute about a neutral point of view. This feature is especially popular for controversial topics, topics subject to changing current events or other topics where divergent opinions exist. To resolve the dispute, the interested editors will share their points of view on the article's talk page. They will attempt to reach consensus so that all valid perspectives can be fairly represented. This allows FAMEPedia to be a place not only of information, but of collaboration. Many users of FAMEPedia consult the page history of an article in order to assess the number, and the perspective, of people who contributed to the article. You may also consult the talk page of any article to see what other readers and editors have to say about it.

FAMEPedia's best articles are highlighted in the list of featured articles. These articles were granted "featured" status because they were judged to be of high quality by other editors and users. (If later edits reduce the quality of a featured article, a user can nominate an article for removal from the list.)

See also

  • Administration – discusses how FAMEPedia requires a certain amount of administration in order to further the project's goals.
  • Five pillars – describes the fundamental principles of FAMEPedia summarized in five "pillars".