Encyclopedia of World Problems - Archived Information

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Technical issues and disclaimer

The profiles and associated networks and relationships outlined in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential are usually created from publicly available sources of information. Through a participative process, this information is continuously revised, taking into account insights from new and emergent bodies of opinion, and from perspectives commonly articulated in public debate.

International sources of information, perspectives and statistics are valued over national and local sources. As much as possible, the profiles are based on public domain information, especially that that the UIA receives directly from international organizations. Such information has often been very carefully prepared to filter out particular biases. With respect to both problem and strategy profiles, the quality and authority of information available in the public domain is frequently challenged, and the profiles endeavour to capture the dynamics of such debates. No particular source is considered an authority that may not be challenged, and so the profiles and cross-references are subject to constant review. Every new piece of information received may be usefully seen as a challenge to what has already been fed into the databases, especially if new descriptors are used to identify a problem or strategy.

The text used in the body of a profile is seldom associated directly with a bibliographical reference. This is partly due to the fact that information on problems and strategies is frequently only a detail in much more general documents. See the Summary of editorial methods and guidelines for more details on these issues.


A project of this scope, based on a multiplicity of sources of information, necessarily contains errors. These could inlcude errors of content, due to the sources of information used, of interpretation, due to the manner of selection and representation of the information used by the editors, of inconsistency, editorial bias, incompleteness or non-completion. In the light of the above points, the editors disclaim responsibility for the views articulated. The material presented in any particular entry endeavours to reflect the views of groups of people holding that perspective, whether or not it is consistent with views held by others, notably public, academic or religious authorities. The editors cannot therefore be held responsible for whether the information is "correct" or "factual", or for the manner in which users may choose to interpret the information presented. Please consult the Disclaimer and warning to users for more information.

Participative feedback possibilities

Given the points mentioned above, that no source of information is considered an absolute authority that may not be challenged, and because the Encyclopedia is a participative project, users are encouraged to present counter-claims to views that they consider inappropriately presented. A feedback facility is integrated for that purpose to encourage recognition of the dynamics of the controversey that is often associated with this kind of information. Users can respond interactively to the profiles in the various databases by sending general comments on all or individual databases, or by sending specific comments about individual entries relating to a specific part of a profile or about the entry as a whole, by clicking here. However, before doing this please make sure you consult the detailed Participative Encyclopedia: Processing Specific User Feedback section rules before giving contributions.