Type of site
|Internet encyclopedia project|
|Creative Commons ShareAlike License 3.0|
The Uzbek Wikipedia (Uzbek: Oʻzbekcha Vikipediya in Latin script, Ўзбекча Википедия in Cyrillic script) is the Uzbek-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was founded in December 2003. Articles in Uzbek-language edition are written in the Latin script. In August 2012, a Latin-to-Cyrillic converter was added to allow users to view Uzbek Wikipedia's pages in both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts.
The Uzbek Wikipedia is currently blocked in Uzbekistan. While the reasons for the blockage are unrevealed, some believe that the encyclopedia has been blocked because the Uzbek government is concerned about the appearance of articles critical of its actions. Others have speculated that the Uzbek Wikipedia has been blocked simply as an "act of showmanship" because the government of Uzbekistan sees Uzbek-language content as subject to its jurisdiction. The blockage is not very robust: currently, the pages of the Uzbek Wikipedia can be accessed on an HTTPS connection.
Although Uzbekistan has almost 9 million Internet users, there are not many active editors in the Uzbek Wikipedia and a majority of the existing articles are poorly sourced. Since early 2012, however, both the number of active users and well-written articles have increased noticeably. The number of visits to the encyclopedia has also been rising lately. In early 2013, the Uzbek-language Wikipedia ranked first among different editions of Wikipedia in terms of annual page-view growth. The current number of articles in the Uzbek Wikipedia is 128,883.
The Uzbek Wikipedia was launched in December 2003. The very first edit was made on the main page of the encyclopedia on 21 December 2003. During 2004, Uzbek Wikipedia remained largely inactive. However, in 2005, the encyclopedia gradually started to grow.
Sometime around the end of September and beginning of October 2011, the Uzbek Wikipedia was blocked in Uzbekistan. Despite the blockage, the encyclopedia started to grow fast in 2012. During that same year, a bot was used to create a large number of articles. In 2013, another bot was used to add all of the articles of the National Encyclopedia of Uzbekistan to the Uzbek Wikipedia.
A mirror of the Uzbek Wikipedia was set up at wiki
In 2007, the first Wikiconference (Uzbek: Vikimajlis) of Uzbek Wikipedia editors was organized at the Tashkent University of Information Technologies. Participants included those who had not edited Wikipedia before.
In 2008, a Wikisummer (Uzbek: VikiYoz; "yoz" means both "summer" and "to write" in Uzbek) competition was organized with financial support from Uzinfocom, an agency of the State Committee of Communication, Informatization, and Telecommunication Technology of Uzbekistan. The main aim of the competition was to contribute to the expansion and development of the Uzbek Wikipedia. However, few people showed interest in the Wikisummer and the competition was not successful.
In February 2014, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, known locally as Ozodlik radiosi, launched the OzodWiki project to contribute to the development of the Uzbek Wikipedia. A wide range of articles, including interviews with active editors, reviews of existing articles, and lessons on editing Wikipedia were published as part of the project. In addition, selected words and phrases that were used in Ozodlik radiosi's reports were hyperlinked to corresponding entries in the Uzbek Wikipedia to popularize the encyclopedia. The OzodWiki project was "mutually beneficial, enabling Ozodlik users to click through to expanded information resources, while popularizing Wikipedia by driving new topics and audience their way. In addition, Radio Ozodlik recommends current topics for Wikipedia to define, while Wikipedia sources content to Radio Ozodlik."
In a short period of time the OzodWiki project stated to have a positive impact on the Uzbek Wikipedia. While it is unlikely that all of the changes that took place after the launch of OzodWiki were a direct result of the project, a majority of these changes occurred while the project was running. While the main page of the Uzbek Wikipedia was viewed 20,368 times in January 2014, it was viewed 56,274 times in March of the same year. In March 2013, the main page had been visited 20,403 times. In April 2014, the main page was viewed a record 136,592 times. In April 2013, the main page had been visited only 12,134 times.
Compared to January 2014, in February 2014 the Uzbek Wikipedia was edited more actively. While the total number of edits in January was around 1,400, it increased to about 2,200 in February. In other words, the total number of edits increased by 59 percent. As the total number of edits had declined by 32 percent in January compared to the previous month, the 59 percent increase was a significant change.
While in January the average number of new articles created per day was only one, this number increased threefold in February. In other words, on average three articles were created in a given day during the month of February. In October, November, and December 2013, an average of two articles had been created per day.
However, in February there was no significant change in the number of new editors. Compared to the previous month, both in January and February the number of new editors who made at least ten edits increased by only three people: in December 2013, the Uzbek Wikipedia had 183 editors; in January 2014 — 186; and, finally, in February 2014 — 189. Still, there were slight increases in the number of new editors in March and April. The Uzbek Wikipedia gained four and six new editors who made at least ten edits in March and April, respectively.
A total of 33 unique articles were published as part of the project. The final OzodWiki article was published in January 2016.
While articles in the Uzbek Wikipedia are written using the Latin script, historically the Uzbek language has used many different alphabets. Before 1928, Uzbek was written in an Arabic-based alphabet by the literate population. Between 1928 and 1940, it was written in a Latin alphabet which was different from the Latin alphabet that is used today. Starting from 1940, Uzbek began to be written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which remained the predominant form of writing until 1993.
A new Latin alphabet was introduced to Uzbek after Uzbekistan gained independence from the USSR. Currently, the Latin script is used in school and university textbooks, some newspapers, and in some official papers. Since 2004 some official websites have switched over to using the Latin script when writing in Uzbek. However, the use of Cyrillic is still widespread, especially among older Uzbeks and among Uzbeks who live in other countries.
Currently, the Uzbek Wikipedia has a function ("vikifikator", literally "wikifier") which allows editors to easily convert Cyrillic text into Latin while editing. In August 2012, a Latin-to-Cyrillic converter was added to allow users to view Uzbek Wikipedia's pages in both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts.
Whereas in the English Wikipedia autoconfirmed status is required to move pages, edit semi-protected pages, and upload files, in the Uzbek edition these actions are not restricted. At the moment there are only 8 administrators in the Uzbek Wikipedia.
The Uzbek Wikipedia lacks articles on contemporary political life in Uzbekistan. However, in 2012 the Uzbek Wikipedia started to grow fast despite being blocked in Uzbekistan and since that time the number of well-written articles on important subjects has increased significantly. In 2013, the coverage of the Uzbek Wikipedia expanded noticeably after all of the articles of the National Encyclopedia of Uzbekistan were added to it using a bot. Currently, the majority of articles on the Uzbek Wikipedia are about populated places, astronomical objects, people, music, and football.
Like in many other Wikipedias, Uzbek Wikipedia editors jointly determine featured and good articles. Currently, there are eleven featured and 22 good articles on the Uzbek Wikipedia. The most comprehensive articles are entries about stars, philosophy, the Republic of Korea, Tehran, Aleppo, Karabulak, Texas, Encyclopædia Britannica, Ali-Shir Nava'i, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the British Empire.
The number of articles in the Uzbek Wikipedia reached 10,000 on 5 June 2012. The 10,000th article was on compass. A month later, on 5 July 2012, the article count of the encyclopedia reached 20,000. The 20,000th article was on the topic of meteorology. The Uzbek Wikipedia reached 50,000 articles on 8 November 2012. The 50,000th article was on quadratic equations. The encyclopedia reached 100,000 articles on 20 March 2013. The 100,000th article was on labor force. These increases in the number of articles were mostly achieved with the help of bots.
As of April 2017, the Uzbek Wikipedia has 128,883 articles. There are 31,275 users, 90 of whom have made at least one edit in the last 30 days. At the moment only 8 users have administrator rights. The total number of pages on the Uzbek Wikipedia (including talk pages, categories, etc.) is 615,884. The total number of edits is 2,656,181. The editing depth of the Uzbek Wikipedia, which is a rough indicator of the encyclopedia's collaborative quality, is 61.6. Based on the List of articles every Wikipedia should have, the Uzbek Wikipedia ranks 64th.
|15 January 2006||100|
|24 May 2006||500|
|28 May 2006||1000|
|5 June 2012||10 000|
|5 July 2012||20 000|
|31 July 2012||30 000|
|27 August 2012||40 000|
|8 November 2012||50 000|
|29 November 2012||60 000|
|4 January 2013||70 000|
|13 February 2013||80 000|
|10 March 2013||90 000|
|20 March 2013||100 000|
The entire Wikipedia has been briefly blocked twice in Uzbekistan, in 2007 and 2008. The Uzbek Wikipedia was blocked in Uzbekistan around the end of September and beginning of October 2011, but caught the attention of the international press only in late February 2012 following RFE/RL's report about the blockage on 16 February 2012. Initially Internet users in Uzbekistan trying to access Uzbek-language pages got redirected to msn.com of Microsoft. Currently the pages of the encyclopedia simply fail to load. Users in Uzbekistan can easily open Wikipedia articles in other languages, only Uzbek-language articles have been blocked.
The reason for the blockage of the Uzbek Wikipedia is not known. Some have expressed the view that the encyclopedia has been blocked because the Uzbek government is concerned about the appearance of articles critical of its actions. Sarah Kendzior, an American anthropologist, has speculated that the Uzbek Wikipedia has been blocked simply as an "act of showmanship" because the government of Uzbekistan sees Uzbek-language content as subject to its jurisdiction.
The blockage is not very robust: currently, the articles in the Uzbek-language Wikipedia can be accessed on an HTTPS connection. Therefore, in 2013 Google started indexing articles on the Uzbek Wikipedia with HTTPS by default.
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