In a traditional encyclopedia, experts write articles that are permanently encased in authoritative editions. The writing and editing goes on behind the scenes, effectively hiding the process that produces the published article. Most people focus on the "finished piece," ie. the latest version of a Wikipedia article. In fact what is most illuminative is the back-and-forth that occurs between a topic's many author/editors. I think there is a lot to be learned by studying the points of dissent.