Nupedia was an English-language Web-based encyclopedia that was written by volunteer contributors with appropriate subject matter expertise, reviewed by expert editors before publication and licensed as free content . It was founded by Jimmy Wales and underwritten by Bomis , with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief. Nupedia Lasted from October 1999 [1] [2] up to September 2003. It is mostly Known now as the predecessor of Wikipedia , Nupedia goal Had a seven-step approval process to control glad of items posted before being white, Rather than live wiki -based updating. Nupedia was designed by committee, With experts to predefine the rules, and it only approved 21 articles in its first year, compared to Wikipedia posting 200 articles in the first month, and 18,000 in the first year. [3] Unlike Wikipedia, Nupedia was not a wiki ; It has been used by an extensive peer-review process, designed to make its articles of a quality comparable to that of professional encyclopedias. Nupedia wanted scholars (ideally with PhDs) to volunteer content. [4] Before it ceased operating, Nupedia produced 25 approved articles [5] , and 74 more articles were in progress.

In June 2008, CNET UK listed Nupedia as one of the greatest defunct websites in the still young internet history , noting how the strict control had limited the posting of articles. [6]


In October 1999, [7] Jimmy Wales began thinking about an online encyclopedia built by volunteers and, in January 2000, hired Larry Sanger to oversee its development. [2]The project officially went online on March 9, 2000. [8] By November 2000, however, only two full-length articles had been published. [9]

From its beginning, Nupedia was a free encyclopedia content , [8] with Bomis intending to generate revenue from online ads on [9] The Nupedia Open Content License. In January 2001, it switched to the GNU Free Documentation License at the emergency of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation . [10]

Also in January 2001, Nupedia started Wikipedia as a side-project to allow collaboration on articles before entering the peer review process. [11] This attracted interest from both sides, as it provided the less bureaucratic structure favored by advocates of the GNE encyclopedia . As a result, GNE never really developed, and the threat of competition between the projects was averted. As Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Nupedia’s editor-in-chief.

Besides leading to discontinuation of the GNE project, Wikipedia also led to the gradual demise of Nupedia. Due to the collapse of the internet economy at that time, Jimmy Wales decided to discontinue funding for a salaried editor in December 2001, [2] and Sanger resigned from both projects soon thereafter. [12] After Sanger’s departure, Nupedia is increasingly becoming an afterthought to Wikipedia; Of the Nupedia articles that completed the review process, only two did so after 2001. As Nupedia dwindled into inactivity, the idea of ​​converting it into a stable version of approved Wikipedia articles was occasionally broached, but never implemented. The Nupedia website at was shut down on September 26, 2003. [12] Nupedia’s encyclopedic content,

Editorial process

Example of a Nupedia article on the classical era of music .

Nupedia had a seven-step editorial process, consisting of:

  1. assignment
  2. Finding a lead reviewer
  3. Lead Review
  4. Open review
  5. Lead copyediting
  6. Open copyediting
  7. Final approval and markup

Authors were expected to have expert knowledge (although the definition of expert allowed for a degree of flexibility, and it was acknowledged that some articles could be written by a good writer, rather than an expert per se ) [13] and the editors approving articles For publication were expected “to be true experts in their fields (with few exceptions) [to] possess PhDs”. [14]

Ruth Ifcher was someone Sanger depended on and worked closely with Nupedia’s early policies and procedures. Ifner, holding several higher degrees, was a computer programmer and form copy editor and agreed to be a volunteer chief copy editor. [15]

Software development

Nupedia was powered by NupeCode collaborative software . NupeCode is free / open source software (released under the GNU General Public License ) designed for large peer review projects. The code was available via Nupedia’s CVS repository. One of the problems experienced by Nupedia during much of its existence was that the software lacked functionality. Much of the missing functionality had been mocked-up using underlined blocks of text which appeared to be hyperlinks, but actually were not. Citation needed ]

As part of the project, a new version of the original software (called “NuNupedia”) was under development. NuNupedia was implemented for testing at SourceForge . [16]

See also

  • List of online encyclopedias
  • List of wikis
  • Scholarpedia
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia: Nupedia and Wikipedia: Articles copied to Wikipedia


  1. Jump up^ “ WHOIS, DNS, & DomainTools” . WHOIS . 2016 . Retrieved 2016-03-06 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Poe, Marshall (September 2006). “The Hive” . The Atlantic . Retrieved January 1, 2007 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Sanger, Larry (April 18, 2005). “The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir” . Slashdot . Retrieved May 26, 2012 .
  4. Jump up^ Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia . London: Aurum. p. 38. ISBN  9781845134730 . OCLC  280430641 . His academic roots compelled Sanger to insist on one rigid requirement for his pedigree. “We wish to edit the possibilities of the Ph.Ds.” Read the Nupedia policy.
  5. Jump up^ Shun-Ling, Chen (May 5, 2010). “Self-governing online communities in Web 2.0: privacy, anonymity and accountability in Wikipedia” (PDF) . Albany Law Journal . Retrieved March 1,2013 .
  6. Jump up^ Lanxon, Nate (June 5, 2008). “The greatest defunct Web sites and dotcom disasters” . CNET UK. p. 5.
  7. Jump up^ “ WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info – DomainTools” . WHOIS . Retrieved 2016-07-06 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b Gouthro, Liane (10 March 2000). “Building the world’s biggest encyclopedia” . PC World . Retrieved 19 January 2008 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Frauenfelder, Mark (November 21, 2000). “The next generation of online encyclopedias” . The Industry Standard / CNN .
  10. Jump up^ jwales (January 17, 2001). “Re: GNUPedia = Nupedia?” . GNUPedia Project Starting . Slashdot.
  11. Jump up^ Larry Sanger (January 10, 2001). “Let’s make a wiki” . Nupedia-l mailing list . Internet Archive. Archived from the original on April 14, 2003.
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Wikipedia . PediaPress.
  13. Jump up^ “ 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: 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.
  14. Jump up^ “How to be an editor or peer reviewer for Nupedia” . Nupedia . Archived from the original on April 10, 2001 . Retrieved June 3,2010 .
  15. Jump up^ Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution . New York: Hyperion. p. 37. ISBN  9781401303716 .
  16. Jump up^ “NuNupedia” . SourceForge . Retrieved 2017-02-16 .

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