Wikipedia's purpose is to benefit readers by containing information on all branches of knowledge. Hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, it consists of freely editable content, whose articles also have numerous links to guide readers to more information.
Wikipedia's fundamental principles are summarized in its five pillars. The Wikipedia community has developed many policies and guidelines, although editors do not need to be familiar with them before contributing.
Wikipedia differs from printed references in important ways. It is continually created and updated, and encyclopedic articles on new events appear within minutes rather than months or years. Because anyone can improve Wikipedia, it has become more comprehensive than any other encyclopedia. Its contributors enhance the quality and quantity of the articles and remove misinformation, errors, and vandalism. Any reader can fix a mistake or add more information to articles (see Researching with Wikipedia).
Wikipedia has tested the wisdom of the crowd since 2001 and found that it succeeds.