Credibility of Wikipedia

Topics: Wikipedia, Peer review, Encyclopædia Britannica Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: June 18, 2011
Credible Information Debate 1
Credible Information Debate 2
There is much debate concerning the validity and reliability of Wikipedia. The internet has transformed the way we gather and learn information. Fifteen years ago, we had internet access, but not to the extent we do today. Even in the 1990’s, if a paper was required for a class that meant time was spent in the library looking up books with a card catalog. We had to read books, write down information, decipher and organize the information into a well-written paper. In the 21st century, students have everything at their fingertips. All that is required in typing is a keyword and an abundant amount of material is populated in a matter of seconds. With all this information available how do students know what is reliable and appropriate for academic use?

One of the most popular websites is Wikipedia. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, was established in 2001. “It is now one of the largest sites on the web” (2007, Carleton College). The difference between Wikipedia and an encyclopedia is Wikipedia is a collaborative effort with articles written by individuals around the world using wiki software that allows content to be added or changed by anyone. All material can be edited. The issue with this method is the authors of the articles may not be experts on the topics they are writing, leaving a lot of room for error and bias. According to the founder, Jimmy Wales, “Wikipedia may not be a suitable source for academic uses”. He also states, “It is good enough knowledge, depending on what your purpose is” (2007, Carleton College.) This displays evidence that Wikipedia may not be credible because there is a lack of...

Citations: Carleton College. (2007). Carleton College: Gould Library: Using Wikipedia. Retrieved
from http://apps.carletonedu/campus/library/for_faculty/faculty_find/wikip/
Massey University. (2011). Identifying Academic Sources. Retrieved from
Wired Campus- The Chronicle of Higher Education. (2006). Wikipedia Founder
Discourages Academic Use of his Creation. Retrieved from
(2011). Wikipedia Academic Use. Retrieved from Use
(2011). Reliabilty of Wikipedia. Retrieved from
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