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  1. #1
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    Wikipedia as a source

    Here's an article about the way even professionals are using Wikipedia as a source, where it is clearly not a very good one for things like this. I'm not anti-Wikipedia, I think it's great for ready-reference sort of stuff, but not as a research tool.

    Students beware!

    Wikipedia hoax points to limits of journalists' research - Ars Technica


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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    On the other hand, for all the crap wikipedia gets, id say traditional encyclopedias had just as many shortfalls because they were out of date the second they were printed.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by alarson83 View Post
    On the other hand, for all the crap wikipedia gets, id say traditional encyclopedias had just as many shortfalls because they were out of date the second they were printed.
    That's a good point, currency is a big drawback of print resources.

    I think the moral of the story is don't be lazy in your research. Check sources against one another.


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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Wikipedia is usually useful enough that sources are often cited within.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Wikipedia is just a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It's an amazingly powerful one, though. There have been several studies that compare it to traditional encyclopedias, and wikipedia is generally just as accurate (if not moreso) than traditional encyclopedias.

    If I was doing research for a living, it would probably be one of the first places I would START to research something. It would certainly not be where I would stop researching something, however.


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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    People that bash Wikipedia are just in denial about technology.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    I never had any papers at UNI where the profs wouldnt let us use Wikipedia. I think more and more teachers are coming around.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by alarson83 View Post
    On the other hand, for all the crap wikipedia gets, id say traditional encyclopedias had just as many shortfalls because they were out of date the second they were printed.
    On some things, yes. On most things, no.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonick182 View Post
    I never had any papers at UNI where the profs wouldnt let us use Wikipedia. I think more and more teachers are coming around.
    I remember back in the day (1995) when some college profs wouldn't accept anything from the internet as a source. I had a guy in one of my classes that received a failing grade because he cited the online version of Time magazine as a source for a paper he had written. He had done this on purpose to prove a point. He tried to point out to the prof that it was the same article that appeared in print, but the prof wouldn't budge.


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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by 06Panther View Post
    People that bash Wikipedia are just in denial about technology.
    No. I'm fairly up to date on technology and look at Wikipedia often, but I also know it's not the be all, end all of sources. It's a good tool to use to start your research, but because most of the pages can be edited by anybody with a computer and a remedial ability to type, you need to verify the information you find with a more credible source if the research you're doing is for an important purpose.




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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    Wikipedia is just a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It's an amazingly powerful one, though. There have been several studies that compare it to traditional encyclopedias, and wikipedia is generally just as accurate (if not moreso) than traditional encyclopedias.

    If I was doing research for a living, it would probably be one of the first places I would START to research something. It would certainly not be where I would stop researching something, however.
    Which is really the same thing with traditional encyclopedias. They were a good place to start but if you wanted to do real research you needed to be hittin up other sources. Wikipedia's advantage- a lot of those sources are readily linked and can be had at the click of a button.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by jdewaard View Post
    I remember back in the day (1995) when some college profs wouldn't accept anything from the internet as a source. I had a guy in one of my classes that received a failing grade because he cited the online version of Time magazine as a source for a paper he had written. He had done this on purpose to prove a point. He tried to point out to the prof that it was the same article that appeared in print, but the prof wouldn't budge.
    They were still doing that in 2000. Most weren't accepting anything, and the few that did would only accept stuff from .edu sites.



  13. #13
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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by dustinal View Post
    No. I'm fairly up to date on technology and look at Wikipedia often, but I also know it's not the be all, end all of sources. It's a good tool to use to start your research, but because most of the pages can be edited by anybody with a computer and a remedial ability to type, you need to verify the information you find with a more credible source if the research you're doing is for an important purpose.
    Same here. I'm pretty tech-savvy, and know that Wikipedia can help jumpstart research, but I'd never use it as a source in and of itself in any of my grad school papers. I'd get hammered for that.

    Want to know the most overlooked source for quality information? Subscription database services through your public or academic library.


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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    Wikipedia is just a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It's an amazingly powerful one, though. There have been several studies that compare it to traditional encyclopedias, and wikipedia is generally just as accurate (if not moreso) than traditional encyclopedias.

    If I was doing research for a living, it would probably be one of the first places I would START to research something. It would certainly not be where I would stop researching something, however.
    I think it depends on the topic. I remember hearing that Wikipedia is very accurate for scientific entries (the kind of thing that was likely written by people who know what they're talking about). I'd never trust Wikipedia for info on a political topic, though, since it's too likely to be vandalized or edited for PR reasons.

    Wikipedia is great when I don't care if the answer is wrong because I'm just curious about something. I've used Wikipedia to start research before, and have cited to sources cited in Wikipedia. I'd never cite directly to Wikipedia, and I'd be a little disturbed to see teachers and professors allow students to cite to it.



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    Re: Wikipedia as a source

    Haha wow, what a difference 4 years makes. I was in college 2004-2008 and never had any issues with using online sources. Some teachers even REQUIRED online sources(granted it was at MCC but still).



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