Saturday, October 16, 2010

Using Wikipedia - More Reliable than you have been told!

I have worked with a lot of students in Research and Evaluation classes.   Often students tell me that other instructors have told them that Wikipedia is not a valid or reliable source for information and should never be cited as a reference.   I think academics is going overboard on this.   Wikipedia suffered a bad reputation
after its startup because it does allow anyone to change information.  Some hoaxes did occur.   Since then they have made changes.   I would challenge anyone to look up a list of facts in Wikipedia and find out just how accurate the information is.     Hands down Wikipedia is fast, free and very accurate.    Certainly for PhD dissertation or Masters Thesis writing you would want peer reviewed journal articles for background information on complex topics. However for day to day fact finding, starting point of research.  Wikipedia is a great tool to have at our fingertips.