Wikibooks:Collections Preface

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This book was created by volunteers at Wikibooks (http://en.wikibooks.org).

What is Wikibooks?[edit]

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Started in 2003 as an offshoot of the popular Wikipedia project, Wikibooks is a free, collaborative wiki website dedicated to creating high-quality textbooks and other educational books for students around the world. In addition to English, Wikibooks is available in over 130 languages, a complete listing of which can be found at http://www.wikibooks.org. Wikibooks is a "wiki", which means anybody can edit the content there at any time. If you find an error or omission in this book, you can log on to Wikibooks to make corrections and additions as necessary. All of your changes go live on the website immediately, so your effort can be enjoyed and utilized by other readers and editors without delay.

Books at Wikibooks are written by volunteers, and can be accessed and printed for free from the website. Wikibooks is operated entirely by donations, and a certain portion of proceeds from sales is returned to the Wikimedia Foundation to help keep Wikibooks running smoothly. Because of the low overhead, we are able to produce and sell books for much cheaper then proprietary textbook publishers can. This book can be edited by anybody at any time, including you. We don't make you wait two years to get a new edition, and we don't stop selling old versions when a new one comes out.

Note that Wikibooks is not a publisher of books, and is not responsible for the contributions of its volunteer editors. PediaPress.com is a print-on-demand publisher that is also not responsible for the content that it prints. Please see our disclaimer for more information: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:General_disclaimer .

What is this book?[edit]

This book was generated by the volunteers at Wikibooks, a team of people from around the world with varying backgrounds. The people who wrote this book may not be experts in the field. Some may not even have a passing familiarity with it. The result of this is that some information in this book may be incorrect, out of place, or misleading. For this reason, you should never rely on a community-edited Wikibook when dealing in matters of medical, legal, financial, or other importance. Please see our disclaimer for more details on this.

Despite the warning of the last paragraph, however, books at Wikibooks are continuously edited and improved. If errors are found they can be corrected immediately. If you find a problem in one of our books, we ask that you be bold in fixing it. You don't need anybody's permission to help or to make our books better.

Wikibooks runs off the assumption that many eyes can find many errors, and many able hands can fix them. Over time, with enough community involvement, the books at Wikibooks will become very high-quality indeed. You are invited to participate at Wikibooks to help make our books better. As you find problems in your book don't just complain about them: Log on and fix them! This is a kind of proactive and interactive reading experience that you probably aren't familiar with yet, so log on to http://en.wikibooks.org and take a look around at all the possibilities. We promise that we won't bite!

Who are the authors?[edit]

The volunteers at Wikibooks come from around the world and have a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. They come to Wikibooks for different reasons, and perform different tasks. Some Wikibookians are prolific authors, some are perceptive editors, some fancy illustrators, others diligent organizers. Some Wikibookians find and remove spam, vandalism, and other nonsense as it appears. Most wikibookians perform a combination of these jobs.

It's difficult to say who are the authors for any particular book, because so many hands have touched it and so many changes have been made over time. It's not unheard of for a book to have been edited thousands of times by hundreds of authors and editors. You could be one of them too, if you're interested in helping out.

Wikibooks in Class[edit]

Books at Wikibooks are free, and with the proper editing and preparation they can be used as cost-effective textbooks in the classroom or for independent learners. In addition to using a Wikibook as a traditional read-only learning aide, it can also become an interactive class project. Several classes have come to Wikibooks to write new books and improve old books as part of their normal course work. In some cases, the books written by students one year are used to teach students in the same class next year. Books written can also be used in classes around the world by students who might not be able to afford traditional textbooks.

Happy Reading![edit]

We at Wikibooks have put a lot of effort into these books, and we hope that you enjoy reading and learning from them. We want you to keep in mind that what you are holding is not a finished product but instead a work in progress. These books are never "finished" in the traditional sense, but they are ever-changing and evolving to meet the needs of readers and learners everywhere. Despite this constant change, we feel our books can be reliable and high-quality learning tools at a great price, and we hope you agree. Never hesitate to stop in at Wikibooks and make some edits of your own. We hope to see you there one day. Happy reading!