AHA Today

Wikipedia: Valuable Resource or Abyss of Misinformation?

Elisabeth Grant | Oct 27, 2006

The Internet is often the first place many students go when gathering research for a paper, project, or other class assignment. And while there are many excellent and invaluable resources available online, the quality of one site is still under debate: Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is the marriage of the wiki software, which allows the public access to edit and update pages of a site, with the structure of the encyclopedia. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post on a related resource, Wikimapia, allowing anyone to update and edit is both productive (allowing much more information to be contributed), and problematic (who checks to make sure that new contents and edits are correct?). As more and more people are turning to Wikipedia for answers, particularly students who are using Wikipedia as a source, it becomes more important to ask: Can we trust Wikipedia?

Given our own interest harnessing the wiki technology (as shown in the Archives-wiki proposal), we invite discussion about the value of Wikipedia. To help stimulate discussion, here are some recent articles and resources that assess the usefulness and accuracy of Wikipedia. Check them out and then leave us your comments and insight on this issue.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

Tags: AHA Today Teaching & Learning


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