Wikipedia as a source

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by dbnp48, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. dbnp48 Q.E.D. Registered Senior Member

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    Most of my citations are from Wikipedia. Here is an article about the reliability of Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

    Look at the references at the end of the article rather than the article itself which being a Wikipedia article could be biased.

    DISCLAIMER
    I am an active contributor to Wikipedia. I don't write or modify articles. Instead, I proofread and correct typos, spelling, grammar and composition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
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  3. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Surveys and statistics that show that Wikipedia's accuracy compares favourably to that of other encyclopedias isn't enough to convince many people of it's trustworthiness because there's a certain level of paranoia associated with the fact that it is editable. As I have already suggested in a previous post on this matter, I really don't think that there is much cause for concern with regard to what I phrased as "academically significant" subject matter. This is because I understand the process of review and consensus and how it naturally tends to result in accuracy. Add to this the fact that reliable external sources are required for any material that has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, and that any information in an article that requires a citation but doesn't include one is clearly marked as such, I see Wikipedia as a source that is as trustworthy as any other.

    One thing I have always said about Wikipedia however is that you need to use it intelligently. One of it's weaknesses is that less popular and/or largely trivial subject matter typically does not receive the same level and/or quality of attention. An intelligent user will be aware of this and will pay more attention to whether or not the article in question is lacking sufficient citations for it's content and may even delve into some of the discussion that is taking place behind the articles creation to learn more (and possibly uncover discussion about the validity of particular sources). In any case, whenever anything is in doubt it should be obvious that the appropriate course of action is to look elsewhere for more definitive information. It should also be mentioned that such articles are quite often beyond the scope of other encyclopedias anyway.
     
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    From http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=2698288#post2698288
    Post #244

    Regarding Wiki.
    This is a subject which has been discussed on here many times.
    A recent thread is at ( here )
    It is nearly empty, so a fresh discussion could be started.
    I will duplicate this post there. (here)

    Personally, I don't have a University Library at hand, so "Pukipedia" is my best option. I agree that it doesn't replace professionally written books, eye witmess statements, and archives of original material.
    But if you see something in wikipedia which is wrong, you could make an effort to repair it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
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  7. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe you're referring to my thread of a couple years ago: (since your link seems to be missing)

    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=94278

    Only got 43 posts or thereabout.

    Personally I find it great for subjects of "common knowledge" and many topics have bibliographies at the end allowing for further research. I have also read articles stating that the accuracy approaches that of "traditional" encyclopedia. If someone ridicules or disputes my Wiki reference I simply shift the burden back to them - find something better... Or f*ck off.

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  8. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    I use Wiki all of the time for reference. Maybe that's a bad idea. It always comes up when I perform a search on google, so I use it for the larger part.
     
  9. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    My university student son says that directly citing Wiki doesn't get it for class assignments. However, if you look a subject up on Wiki and then follow the citations, those can be tapped as sources - if they pan out.
     
  10. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    That's the approach I'd take to it.

    It's a good enough source for casual conversations and posts on Internet forums. But for anything more serious, yes - start with the citations.
     
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