Peter Lunenfeld on Tue, 16 May 2000 20:14:33 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Seeking Contributors For Open Content Encyclopedia

A major new encyclopedia project,, is looking for informed
and enthusiastic people to help direct and construct an "open content"
encyclopedia, planned to become the largest general encyclopedia in
history.  Articles will be peer-reviewed and carefully copyedited by
means of a growing network of mailing lists.  The project has
significant financial support, and its leaders and owners are committed
to a years-long, intensive effort.  Among the project's leaders, the
excitement level is high.

In constructing this encyclopedia, we intend use the special
opportunities of the internet and hyperlinks to include articles written
at varying levels of generality and specialization.  (Programmers may be
interested to know that the articles will be encoded in XML format.)

We are in need of well-qualified writers, editors, and peer reviewers in
all areas, and will be doing searches for subject area editors.  At
present, we have about three dozen Ph.D.'s, M.D.'s, and other
highly-trained professionals who have generously volunteered their time
as Nupedia editors and peer reviewers.  Most of these people are also
advisory board members who help shape Nupedia policy and procedure.  We
are all committed to creating an open, public, academically-respectable

What does it mean to say the encyclopedia is "open content"?
This means that anyone can use content taken from Nupedia
articles for almost any purpose, both for-profit or non-profit,
so long as Nupedia is credited as the source and so long as the
distributor of the information does not attempt to restrict
others from distributing the same information.  Nupedia will be
"open content" in the same way that Linux and the Open Directory
Project ( are "open source."  As has been the case with
those projects, we plan to attract a huge body of talented

Indeed, since making our initial press release in March, over 1500
people from around the world have signed up as Nupedia members.

Because Nupedia will be open content, it will be in a
freely-distributable public resource created by an international
public effort.  It is not an exaggeration to say that your
contributions would help to provide an international public a
free education.  We believe Nupedia is, thus, a project worthy
of your attention.

If you want to join us or stay apprised of the progress of Nupedia,
please take a minute to go to the Nupedia website at and become a member.  (Becoming a member is
quick, easy, and free.)  Please consult for details about steering
committee positions and consult for a
draft statement of Nupedia editorial policy.

Best regards,
Larry Sanger, Ph.D. expected May 2000 Philosophy, Ohio State
San Diego, California

P.S. If you wish to help promote this project -- something we
would greatly appreciate -- please do forward this announcement
to any *appropriate* forums and to colleagues you think may be
interested (including your local/departmental mailing lists and
newsgroups).  Or, if you would rather that Nupedia make the
announcement on a forum you frequent, please just give us a
pointer to the forum and we can take it from there.

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