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Wikis are, in general, online content repositories that allow others to contribute and modify entries. The name comes from the "wiki wiki" shuttle buses at the Honolulu International Airport. Ward Cunningham is credited with the original WikiWikiWeb.

Wikis are online, collaborative environments that allow anyone to add, edit, or delete pages. Some Wikis require registered membership, and others are private, but many allow anyone with access to the Web to contribute. Wikis use a simplified mark-up syntax that allow users to contribute without special knowledge of HTML. Many Wikis now also offer What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editing, similar to a word processor, which makes it easier for some users to contribute. However, many experienced Wiki contributors prefer Wiki syntax.

  • Wiki - a site which specified users (or anyone) can edit
  • Wikipedia - the most popular Wiki site
  • MediaWiki - the Wiki software behind Wikipedia
  • LISWiki - Library and Information Science Wiki (this site)

Wiki Benefits

As one of the many new Web 2.0 technologies, Wikis have become popular for many reasons:

  • Though Wikis do require some experimentation, they are easy to learn for the average, computer-literate user (Chawner and Lewis 2006, 33; Raman 2006, 60).
  • Many free or inexpensive Wiki engines and Wiki farms are available (Casey and Savastinuk 2006; Raman 2006, 61).
  • Wikis support communication and knowledge sharing (Raman 2006, 63-64).
  • Wikis provide a great "starting place" or overview of a topic, but are categorized as a "general encyclopedia," which should not be cited when conducting serious research. (Harris C. (2007, June). Can we make peach with Wikipedia? School Library Journal, 53(6), 26-26. Retrieved July 13, from EBSCOhost database.)

Other Library Wikis


Conference Wikis


Library-Sponsored Wikis

See also Staff Weblogs.



Other Directories

Wiki Software Applications


  • Casey, Michael, and Laura Savastinuk. 2006. Library 2.0. Library Journal [online]. September 1. <> (accessed September 15, 2006).
  • Chawner, Brenda, and Paul H. Lewis. 2006. WikiWikiWebs: New ways to communicate in a web environment. Information Technology & Libraries 25, no. 1: 33-43. Available from Business Source Elite, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2006).
  • Raman, Murali. 2006. Wiki technology as a “free” collaborative tool within an organizational setting. Information Systems Management 23, no. 4: 59-66. Available from Business Source Elite, EBSCOhost (accessed September 16, 2006).


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