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Sorry, Students: Jimmy Wales Agrees You Shouldn’t Cite Wikipedia in Term Papers: Agree?

Fef 2012/07/11 22:32:33
Related Topics: Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales
Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
Disagree, it's OK to cite Wikipedia.
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Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said that university students should not cite entries in his tremendously popular reference website. Wales created Wikipedia in 2001, and the site has grown into one of the largest reference websites, attracting 470 million unique visitors monthly as of February 2012. Wikipedia allows anyone with internet access to write and edit entries in its free, online encyclopedia.

Mr. Wales stated: If the Professor has a more nuanced view that Wikipedia should not be cited “as a source” by university students then I agree completely! I think the same thing about citing Britannica or any other encyclopedia. Citing an encyclopedia for an academic paper at the University level is not appropriate – you aren’t 12 years old any more, it’s time to step up your game and do research in original sources.

Mr. Wales concluded, “Once you’ve read a few relevant Wikipedia entries on a topic, you should be well armed to start digging in to primary materials.”

Wikipedia does not have verification by any professional staff. Therefore, anyone can add untruthful data or references to any entry. Stephen Colbert used his television show on Comedy Central to start a campaign to alter entries on Wikipedia. He explained that on Wikipedia "any user can change any entry, and if enough users agree with them, it becomes true." He also told his viewers to go onto Wikipedia, in the article elephants, and to edit it so that it would say: "Elephant population in Africa has tripled over the past six months." The suggestion resulted in numerous changes to Wikipedia articles related to elephants and Africa.
wikipedia colbert fake

Read More: http://betabeat.com/2012/07/sorry-students-even-ji...

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Top Opinion

  • sglmom 2012/07/12 03:56:17
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    sglmom
    +12
    Here's one of the basic Definitions I learned ..
    when I was first studying the Wikis ..

    WIKI -- It is a WEBSITE where the users (meaning anyone) can add, delete, or revise content by using a web browser of their choice ..

    When you reflect on this .. that ANYONE Can add, delete, Revise the content ..
    when there's no SERIOUS Effort to even test the content posted to see if it can pass even the simplest 'smell' test to see if it can actually qualify as being .. well .. passable (or a passing acquaintance with reality, scientific methodology .. hmm .. even the word .. truth) ..

    when it is no more than a BLOG That ALL Can put their spin (opinions) on ..

    That is why most Professors (and I also do teach some even in my Retirement Years) state .. PLEASE .. do NOT use WIKIs for your Research Sources .. you will find your GRADE Accordingly lowered by using any WIKI as a substitute for REAL Research ..

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  • Elementer Neutron... 2012/07/13 03:05:05
    Elementer
    Lol, touche.
  • JCLadybug Elementer 2012/07/13 03:48:42
    JCLadybug
    I have edited Wikipedia when I found several inaccuracies in an article. Short articles or even medium size (not full reports) are rife with errors. That is of course anecdotal, but I don't know how you would get statistics on the accuracy of wikipedia.
  • Elementer JCLadybug 2012/07/13 06:12:48 (edited)
    Elementer
    There's been a few studies done concerning the accuracy of Wikipedia, and usually, from what I've read, it's always in the 90's percent wise. I've seen my share of errors, too, though.
  • no no 2012/07/13 01:46:57
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    no no
    Its wickedpedia
  • Katie 2012/07/13 01:10:10
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Katie
    Every teacher I've ever had told the class Wikipedia wasn't reliable. Sometimes I would look at the actual resources listed at the bottom of the pages as a sort of starting point, but that was as close as I ever got.
  • blackrings70 2012/07/13 00:44:05
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    blackrings70
    I was never allowed to use it because it can edited by any one, not considered a reliable source. Plus, with all the other info available why would you want to site Wikipedia:/?
  • gracious43 2012/07/13 00:15:30
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    gracious43
    I use wikipedia all of the time, but I don't quote from it unless I can find at least one other source. That way if someone objects to wiki, I have a backup.
  • ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠ 2012/07/12 23:53:13
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    ☠ Live Free Or Die ☠
    Every teacher I've had said it wasn't okay, so...
  • RoseyRhod 2012/07/12 23:47:17
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    RoseyRhod
    The information in Wikipedia has not been agreed upon, and can be changed at any time. Don't get me wrong, I love Wikipedia and I do use it to research a fair number of things. But I always try to find a more credible source to back up my information in cases where it's necessary.
  • GG 2012/07/12 23:10:27 (edited)
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    GG
    Duh.

    When you are writing papers and citing sources, you don't use Wikipedia. The information is not credible and it can be misleading (or just flat out the wrong).
  • clasact 2012/07/12 22:28:25
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    clasact
    at the level he is talking yeah you should be able to come up with something better
  • sabre2th1 2012/07/12 22:01:59
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    sabre2th1
    It shouldnt be cited, but there are references at the bottom which is what backs up as evidence for points made in an article, which I would encourage anyone to use in their term papers as its a good starting point nonetheless
  • Persephone 2012/07/12 21:20:35
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Persephone
    I would never tell a teacher I cited Wikipedia. Even if I used it together with other sites, books, etc, Wikipedia would never be on my source list.
  • XQNP 2012/07/12 19:44:08
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    XQNP
    +1
    Although the fact that anyone can edit it isn't the issue, as it is, on average, more accurate than the mentioned Encyclopedia Britannica. The problem lies in citing encyclopedias in general, and risking context-based mistakes.
  • ~HopelessRomanticM17~ 2012/07/12 19:12:36
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    ~HopelessRomanticM17~
    Duh!! I'm in high school, and even I know that citing wikipedia is a no no!
  • Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    One of Y'shua's,דָּנִיֵּאל
    Anyone can author any information and misinform and misguide others with incorrect fact sand use it.
    I DO FROM TIME FROM TIME, if those I am in an argument have used it before, then I use it....if it SUITS MY NEEDS....but I know that it is about 70% factual, but sometimes it is 70% wrong...AN AVENUE FOR MISINFORMATION and PROPAGANDA
  • BigFig#9 2012/07/12 18:28:20
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    BigFig#9
    Important note here is to read the details - he's speaking about college students and mentions that no encyclopedia should be cited... As a guy who spent a lot of time reading a grading college papers in grad school, DUHHHH!!!!!!
  • Geenie Nabottle 2012/07/12 18:14:22
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Geenie Nabottle
    Wikipedia is an eh, oh-kay starting point for research, but should not be a cited source.

    The purpose of a term or research paper is the RESEARCH. Primary sources are kinda' important when researching a topic.

    I'm just saying -\_(*_*)_/-
  • Ben 2012/07/12 18:10:45
    Disagree, it's OK to cite Wikipedia.
    Ben
    +2
    Wikipedia is probably the most reliable source to get true information. If you notice, all references are sited at the bottom of the entry. If they are not, the information gets deleted.
  • S123 Ben 2012/07/12 18:46:14
    S123
    +1
    It would proabably be better to check that the references are reliable and use those.
  • Ben S123 2012/07/12 20:07:06
    Ben
    +1
    Exactly! But that is why colleges are trying their hardest to get students who use wikipedia for plagarism. Because wikipedia uses real references. But, it is always good to have that proof you checked that book out from the library and make sure its legit. Good point there.
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2012/07/12 18:10:07
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    Fun to read but I will go to other sources on my papers
  • Marianne 2012/07/12 18:08:20
    Disagree, it's OK to cite Wikipedia.
    Marianne
    Sure, that primary materials are necessary, but in many cases, collecting and purchasing primary materials like books or dictionaries and academic information might become very expensive, unless you have free access to these primary materials.
  • Geenie ... Marianne 2012/07/12 18:19:11
    Geenie Nabottle
    +1
    Included with tuition to colleges and universities is the access to the library and information databases like Jastor, Google Scholar, Lexis Nexis or the like.

    Also as a side note, you make a wonderful argument as to why it is important to keep public library's open..... People do have free access to these primary materials so long as their local public library's are open.
  • Marianne Geenie ... 2012/07/12 22:13:20
    Marianne
    Sure that university and public libraries are precious - I also used libraries, but certain books had to be bought. And unfortunately, public libraries tend to disappear, as most are not profitable enough - a public service like many, which might disappear within short!
  • Geenie ... Marianne 2012/07/13 00:43:18
    Geenie Nabottle
    Public library's are not supposed to be profitable.... Who told you that lie that the only way things should exist is if they are profitable?
  • Marianne Geenie ... 2012/07/13 02:52:41
    Marianne
    Unfortunately, experts, managers and decision makers are saying it; where I am working, they are closing the library and transferring everything to a main library, grouping three institutions. They say that the budget is too short. Now, students, trainees, postdocs, etc. must make the trip: 2 and a half hours one way with public transports or 1 hour by car if they have one. There are, of course, on-line articles and information, but they are often not complete. Actually, I bought a series of dictionaries myself, and I received some books.
  • DarkAngel 2012/07/12 18:03:08
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    DarkAngel
    It's not a very reliable source.
  • wpsark 2012/07/12 17:50:35
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    wpsark
    +1
    It's called a research paper. You must do the research yourself..
  • Red 2012/07/12 17:49:40
  • Kern 2012/07/12 17:47:50
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Kern
    +1
    I agree. Wikipedia is a nice place to get mostly true information but it should not be used as a viable source. That wasn't it's intention and therefore is riddled with in accuracies.
  • Captain Kirk~POTL 2012/07/12 17:35:41
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Captain Kirk~POTL
    Wikipedia is a joke and full of false or misleading information!!
  • the_old_coach 2012/07/12 17:28:05
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    the_old_coach
    +2
    Disclaimer: I am, of course, a teacher.

    We OFTEN use wikipedia as a STARTING POINT, a "jumping off" point to other sites, but our students are NOT allowed to actually cite wikipedia on an assignment.
  • Drake 2012/07/12 17:20:19
  • Tom 2012/07/12 17:01:56
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    Tom
    Citing wikipedia on anything would be better than citing a politician in a paper about the value of truth, at least not everything in Wikipedia is a blatant lie for personal gains.

    Wikipedia is great for an overview, to get you started, but you have to confirm everything on there... while finding the confirmations is necessary, just cite those. A research paper doesn't care where YOU actually got the fact you're stating, it cares about where they can go to find proof of the fact you're stating.
  • themadhare ~IJM 2012/07/12 16:56:09
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    themadhare ~IJM
    +2
    It can be a useful starting point.
  • darlenedoskas1969 2012/07/12 16:37:49
    Agree, Wikipedia shouldn't be cited.
    darlenedoskas1969
    +1
    I agree with the points made, but I don't see a problem with a student using Wikipedia, and citing it, so long as there are many original references also
  • RogerCoppock 2012/07/12 16:12:26
    Disagree, it's OK to cite Wikipedia.
    RogerCoppock
    Wikipedia is a resource. In papers where secondary sources are permitted, it is OK. In research work where only primary sources may be cited, Wikipedia, like all encyclopedias, is unacceptable.
  • Geenie ... RogerCo... 2012/07/12 18:28:04
    Geenie Nabottle
    Ahhh sorry Charlie, but Wikipedia like all encyclopedia's and dictionaries, textbooks et cetera for that matter are tertiary sources.
  • RogerCo... Geenie ... 2012/07/12 21:07:18
    RogerCoppock
    We must be operating on different definitions.

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