Building an Encyclopedia, With or Without Scholars

Like many of the Internet's cleverest ideas, Wikipedia began as an experiment. The site, founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, a former options trader, and Larry Sanger, a graduate student in philosophy, was born out of a similar collaborative effort created for scholars.

Wikipedia began as an offshoot of Nupedia, an online encyclopedia started by the two partners in 2000. They planned to ask academics to submit articles that would be peer-reviewed and posted free online. The idea seemed