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Home: To Wiki or not to Wiki?

Should you use Wikipedia as a credible resource?

NO. Though Wikipedia may be one of the web's most popular reference sites, it isn't a credible resource because anyone is allowed to be a contributor to the website. Wikipedia Academic has posted an article explaining why it is a bad idea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Academic_use).

  • Do your research assignment properly. Remember that any encyclopedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.
  • An encyclopedia is great for getting a general understanding of a subject before you dive into it. But then you do have to dive into your subject, using books and articles and other appropriate sources. What you find in your other sources will be more detailed, more precise, and more carefully reasoned than the summary you found in an encyclopedia. 

Wikipedia: Beneath the Surface

10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia

10. You must never fully rely on any one source for important information.
9. You especially can’t rely on something when you don’t even know who wrote it.
8.  The contributor with an agenda often prevails.
7. Individuals with agendas sometimes have significant editing authority.
6. Sometimes “vandals” create malicious entries that go uncorrected for months.
5. There is little diversity among editors.
4. The number of active Wikipedia editors has flatlined.
3. It has become harder for casual participants to contribute.
2. Accurate contributors can be silenced.
And the number one reason you can't cite or rely on Wikipedia:
1. It says so on WikipediaWikipedia says, “We do not expect you to trust us.”

Read more details about each of these reasons at (E. Moran, Mark. "The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely on Wikipedia." findingDulcineaOctober 27, 2011)