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Evaluating Websites: Wikipedia!?!

Professor says no!

The author praises the encyclopedia that is continuously updated and assessable to all. But as a historian, he contends the absence of accountability is reason to ban students from using Wikipedia in research where they are responsible for informational accuracy.

Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the controversy over Wikipedia in academia.


Scholars often take swipes at Wikipedia, claiming that it dumbs down education and encourages intellectual laziness. But in an article this week in Science Progress, a scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas argues that bans on Wikipedia are irresponsible.

Your Decision

Is Wikipedia a good source for college research?
Your Decision
Yes: 73 votes (55.3%)
No: 59 votes (44.7%)
Total Votes: 132

Is Wikipedia a good site for college research?



Is Wikipedia a good source for college research?

What do you think? 


Visitors do not need specialised qualifications to contribute, since their primary role is to write articles that cover existing knowledge; this means that people of all ages and cultural and social background can write Wikipedia articles.”---From About Wikipedia…the fact that they misspelled specialized might make you wonder what other mistakes are included. 


“Actor-comedian Sinbad had the last laugh after his Wikipedia entry announced he was dead…” USA Today Online, March 16, 2007.

 What some librarians think: “They began by asking the crowd if they had used Wikipedia in the past week. More than 50 percent said yes. About one-third said they'd recommend it to library users, and about the same number said they preferred Wikipedia to a traditional encyclopedia.” Library Journal, 5/1/2007. 

  Ken Jennings (Yes, the Intelligent Person Who Won the Most $$$ in the History of Jeopardy (U.S.) writes: Dairy Queen, which now owns Orange Julius, inadvertently used the hoax material [found on Wikipedia]as the basis for a 2007 ad campaign! The ad firm space150 created a viral video on Julius Freed’s life, using all the amazing-but-true facts from the Wikipedia article. (Again, to review: they were amazing, but not true. So space150 was half-right.) Said creative director Riley Kane:

Our assignment was to push the original Orange Julius and we went to Wikipedia and found out about how he invented the pigeon shower… We couldn’t make anything that good up, so we decided to base the film on the real facts.



Comedian Stephen Colbert gives a humorous explanation of how Wikipedia works.  “Together we can create a reality we all agree on---the reality we just agreed on.”