SOS Children’s Villages presents Wikipedia for Schools

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Earlier today the Wikimedia Foundation, along with the UK charitable organization SOS Children’s Villages announced the 2008 edition of Wikipedia Selection for schools.  Our own Wikinews has also covered the announcement and offers a great interview with Wikipedian and SOS Children’s CEO, Andrew Cates.
David Gerard, a UK-based Wiki(m/p)edian shared the following on Slashdot later in the afternoon:

“SOS Children’s Villages has released the 2008/9 Wikipedia Selection for Schools — 5500 checked and reviewed articles matching the English National Curriculum, produced by SOS for use in their own schools in developing countries. The 2007 edition was a huge success, with distributions to schools in four countries, use by the Hole in the Wall education project, thousands of downloads and disks and around 14,000 unique IPs a day visiting the online version — the most successful end-user distribution version of Wikipedia to date.”

Update: BitTorrent link is now up! Instructions here.<

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Great project, but I think that the statement “see for details of authors and sources” and the disclaimer are not enough: GFDL is not respected, authors are not credited.

I do not wish to try to answer this categorically but rather help you to see how complex the issue is. Your thought is arguable but does not seem to be the consensus of opinions given on the issue. There is a lot of discussion in the project page archives on en on this. The trouble is that the GFDL was not written to cover electronic publishing, and does not say what “crediting” exactly is required. We read the licence carefully, and have tried to ensure appropriate credit is due. As far as we can reasonably tell: 1) We are… Read more »

I will read the project page archive if I find it. But let me say this. Articles usually don’t have 10k versions…, but it may still be difficult to find all “good” authors, and maybe the space to list all of them. However, as an author, I would deeply appreciate if any page had just the direct link to the article on Wikipedia _and_ the one to the history of the page. GFDL may be not the most appropriate license for Wikipedia, I agree with this, but one can’t just take the text and say “it comes from Wikipedia”; IMHO… Read more »

I believe you’re making a couple of errors here and are presenting the situation as more complicated than it actually needs to be. Most importantly, the fact that it’s difficult to say whether one’s fully complying with the GFDL should not be a valid excuse for not making _any_ effort to comply with the GFDL. There are shades of grey here, “better” and “worse” levels of compliance, and I assure you that if you strive for better without managing to achieve perfection you’ll still receive kudos for the effort. I like the idea of this project and I hate to… Read more »

Lovely, we hope a hugest success for the 2008/9 edition

Just to mention that following a request from Erik Moeller we have put at the foot of every page the exact URL of the version on wikipedia from which each particular version is taken. That was a polite simple request from WMF which we implemented immediately. This is not needed for licence but makes it easier to find authors (although not simple), and is also something which the community have expressed some preference for. It also allows a transparent inspection of what content we have taken out. As has also been discussed elsewhere, the idea that an author list per… Read more », section 4.B.
Nothing more was due, although one sees it’s not that easy to obtain.
But the link is a nice move. Bye!