Using Wikipedia to cite?

December 7, 2007 at 10:20 pm (General, Hot Stuff) (, , , )

The last time I searched information using Wikipedia is during my poly years. I would occasionally search for information I need and most of the searches linked to Wikipedia.

But I learned something at that time. 5 years ago, I couldn’t trust Wikipedia for it’s content, even though it seems credible.

The main reason was that the information stated can be modified as and when it is required. Hence how credible can a “modifiying” content be?

This article, here,  shows that students CAN indeed rely on Wikipedia. Although banning is a bad idea, but students (in the name of successful learning development) should use their own judgement on whether the information stated can be trusted or not.

Most of the time, it can useful. I cannot give a NO to the information given. However, to find out if the contributor is of a reliable source is another question.

How can one be sure if the information is accurate? Do more research. Books are the best. Because books uses a lot of citations from other sources to complement it’s content. Wikipedia does that too, but sometimes, people are just plain ignorant and tend to oversee that the content were interlinked with other sources.

So the question is, is Wikipedia good for citation?

My humble opinion would be no. To aid the development of learning, students should do more research. Although Wikipedia has most of it’s content correct, sometimes, more research means more learning, and more learning is ultimately what we need.

Banning of students to use Wikipedia? I would say no. Students should be taught on how to compare such findings with other findings and make out a comparison chart. That should add up to the learning process.

I have not used Wikipedia in 5 years already. Maybe I should drop in sometime to see what major changes they have gone through.


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