Wikipedia has come under fire again, this time because one of its most prominent editors has turned out to be a fraud.

The open online encyclopedia is a collaborative effort that allows anyone to add or change information.

Recently an editor known only has Essjay was interviewed by the New Yorker because he had the authority to arbitrate disputes between authors, remove vandalism, and edit articles.

He apparently told the publication that he was a professor who taught undergrad and graduate theology.

He is actually Ryan Jordan, a 24-year-old college student from Kentucky who used references like Catholicism for Dummies to help him with his Wikipedia work.

The Wikipedia co-found Jimmy Wales, said that the site is "based on twin pillars of trust and tolerance".

Essjay retired from the site to comply with a request from Wales that he do so.

"I hope others will refocus the energy they have spent the past few days in defending and denouncing me to make something here at Wikipedia better", said Jordan.

Wikipedia also hit the news last year after many colleges and universities banned its use as a resource for term and research papers.