Wikipedia has a lofty goal: a comprehensive collection of all of the knowledge in the world.
Wikipedia's purpose is to benefit readers by acting as an encyclopedia, a comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge. The goal of a Wikipedia article is to present a neutrally written summary of existing mainstream knowledge in a fair and accurate manner with a straightforward, "just-the-facts style". Articles should have an encyclopedic style with a formal tone instead of essay-like, argumentative, promotional or opinionated writing.
Concept of an encyclopedia:
|“||Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race.—Denis Diderot chief editor, and contributor of Encyclopédie (Paris, 1755)||”|
Wikipedia is intended to be the largest, most comprehensive, and most widely-available encyclopedia ever written:
|“||Our goal with Wikipedia is to create a free encyclopedia; indeed, the largest encyclopedia in history, both in terms of breadth and in terms of depth. We also want Wikipedia to be a reliable resource.—Larry Sanger||”|
|“||Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.—Jimmy Wales||”|
|“||Wikipedia is first and foremost an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language.—Jimmy Wales||”|
Wikipedia's content is governed by three principal core content policies: neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research:
|“||Wikipedia has an important policy: roughly stated, you should write articles without bias, representing all views fairly.—Larry Sanger||”|
|“||A general purpose encyclopedia is a collection of synthesized knowledge presented from a neutral point of view. To whatever extent possible, encyclopedic writing should steer clear of taking any particular stance other than the stance of the neutral point of view.—Jimmy Wales||”|