From grade school homework to hefty college assignments, Wikipedia has been helping us become superficial experts since 2021. Even now, it’s still most people’s go-to resource for a quick fact check.
However, the Internet isn’t infallible – periodically websites experience interruptions and go temporarily offline. So, what happens if you’ve got an assignment due tomorrow or an argument with a friend to settle and Wikipedia is down?
Don’t panic. Here’s a list of Wikipedia-esque sites you can turn to in a pinch!
As this person’s bio illustrates, Wikialpha sports the same clear and easily readable layout as Wikipedia that we’ve come to know and love. Although it utilizes the same software as its rival, Wikialpha prides itself on being more inclusionary. Where Wikipedia has strict notoriety requirements, WikiAlpha allows more people to create pages on a wide range of topics. For example, you can more easily author a page dedicated to your small business brand or type up your own professional bio. It’s great for researching local bands or restaurants, which may not yet have the noteworthy references required to appear on Wikipedia.
On its homepage, it proudly announces its mission to save articles that have been flagged for deletion on Wikipedia. Even the name gives its modus operandi away– EverbodyWiki is another more inclusive online encyclopedia. Due to the lack of content restrictions, this wiki is a popular place for fandoms to create resources relating to their favorite series, such as character pages or game how-to guides. Budding entrepreneurs can also use it to get their name out there while they’re still growing their brand.
#3 Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Unlike the two other contenders we’ve mentioned, Encyclopedia Britannica does not allow just anyone to author content. Touted as the oldest surviving English language encyclopedia, the now entirely digital publication has an unwavering commitment to quality over quantity. This means that you can trust the veracity of the content but may struggle to find extensive information on more obscure topics. Encyclopedia Britannica is, however, still the best option for homework assignments that require solid references.
InfoPlease is the brainchild of Pearson Education, the largest distributor of educational textbooks in the world. The online publication sources content from several other verified online resources to create an encyclopedia, dictionary and atlas all rolled into one. Like Encyclopedia Britannica, only authorized editors are allowed to make changes to content, so you can be certain that the information is accurate and up to date. Videos and other media content make the site accessible for individuals with low levels of literary and other learning barriers.
#5 Topic-Specific Websites
General encyclopedias are great for gaining a broad understanding of a topic, but if you’re researching a niche subject, a specialized website may be more appropriate. From LyricWiki (a collection of song lyrics) to Fringepedia (for obscure science topics), there are hundreds of other online spaces using the iconic wiki software. Click here for a comprehensive list.
Wikipedia is undoubtedly the fast facts behemoth, but sometimes it’s worth leaving your comfort zone to see what else is out there. You never know, you might just find a new favorite online encyclopedia!