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Wikipedia as a source

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posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 

What they say in the article is true. I have found trying to obtain info on what "someone" considered sensitive subjects or people had been obviously removed or tainted to the point Wiki was of no use for that particular research. Usually it's good though




posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 

I concur wholeheartedly. Which is why I put the disclaimer with it. Nevertheless, I felt it was worth making known.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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It is more likely Wikipedia will have more ommissions than inaccuracies. Except in the case of vandalism it is unlikely to have any broadly fraudulent information.

For general information or an overview I think Wikipedia is great. You can always follow their links for more information or use other search engines to fill it in. But for quick, general information at your fingertips, tell me something that is better.

I keep a Wikipedia window open at all times, along with Wiktionary. I wish more on ATS would use that to check their spelling and/or usage.


edit on 23-1-2011 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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Wiki is a pretty darn good source for top level info,

Wiki is kind of like Cliffs Notes.

You will NOT pass the mid term using wiki



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:14 PM
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I think you have to be really careful on the types of things you quote from wiki. I use it as a source from time to time as I did with a thread on the 13th zodiac but it was a bit about a collection of the mythologies around it. Images, things that can be verified in other places, stone cold facts (longitude/latitude, etc), those kinds of things are okay. But anything outside of that (and maybe a few other things like that I can't think of right now) needs to be considered as potentially suspect, or at least identified as coming from wiki so that people can take the open source nature of that tool into consideration. It is not a heavy duty truth finding machine for deep research, especially into controversial topics, but it is a useful tool.
edit on 23-1-2011 by coyotepoet because: Last sentence



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 




I think that Wiki is a great overview source. I often use it just to establish a basic understanding of what I am writing about.

But I do agree, for highly controversial or technical issues, Wiki is not always on the ball.



Ditto.


Plus, I like to support Wiki - it's a great concept and an integral part of the Free Web.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by plexus

So how do you explain the factual accuracies in most Wikipedia articles when compared to say.. a common Encyclopedia?


There have been many studies comparing Wikipedia to "common encyclopedias," and when that is done Wkipedia does pretty well.. There's a story here and another one here, just as a couple of examples. In 2005 "Nature" magazine did a study that suggested Wikipedia four errors per article where Britannica had three, but Wki articles were 2.5 times longer than Britannica's. Nature is behinda pay wall so good luck with that.

Wikipedia is very good on factual issues. Where is someplace? Who was this fellow? What's the population of Tacoma? That kind of stuff. No one should feel ashamed or be castigated for using Wikipedia for that sort of issue. Where Wikipedia loses it is in polictical issues. "Climate Change" is a good example of a highly contentious issue where for some time there were "editors" who took upon themselves the task of stifling any contrary information. If someone attempts to use Wikipedia to justify a position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or the relative merits of Capitalism versus Communism, he should be laughed out of the room. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater here. For many things Wikipedia is perfectly acceptable source--especially to get you started on exploring a subject.

--a retired librarian



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:32 PM
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Though it may not be the end-of-discussion source for the academics at ATS or elsewhere but if every post contributed on this board had the factual and research level of Wiki as a minimum wouldn't you agree that would be a raise of standards in these forums?


edit on 23-1-2011 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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As s sole source NO, but as part of any research effort it has its place.

The science sections are actually pretty good and its really only in the political areas you get the most trouble



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:40 PM
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I'm in school....and we are not allowed to cite Wikipedia at all for anything we do.

I think it is a great starting point for research....but I believe there are a zillion other sources that can be and should be used.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by greeneyedleo
I'm in school....and we are not allowed to cite Wikipedia at all for anything we do.

I think it is a great starting point for research....but I believe there are a zillion other sources that can be and should be used.


In school, no, I believe you need to learn to do everything the hard way including being able to work your long division without a calculator - some can't! But Wiki cites sources that include many that may be the best source for that information. At least it suggest some avenues for further study, though being able to cite sources for your research beyond Wiki sources is very commendable.

Here on ATS for a general information start is fine. I will use it here and others can click it and have links to many sources that it gives. Why not? But as FredT just pointed out, for political references it is lacking. I am going to use other sources if I want to make my point.


edit on 23-1-2011 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by Zarniwoop
Wiki is a pretty darn good source for top level info,

Wiki is kind of like Cliffs Notes.

You will NOT pass the mid term using wiki


EXACTLY! Cliff Notes!


I don't let my students cite Wikipedia as a source, even though I sometimes direct them there. Hey! I'm the teacher!
But seriously, as stated, Wikipedia can be a very good summary of a topic, and it includes it's own list of sources. When I direct students to a wiki page, I've already checked it out. One of the first things I do with students is go over the pros and cons of Wikipedia and how to properly use it. It requires as much critical thinking as anything else - and anything on the net should be questioned (though with many sources, inaccurate information is there to stay - at least Wikipedia is monitored and edited by an unbiased population (the collective users).


Originally posted by Erongaricuaro
Though it may not be the end-of-discussion source for the academics at ATS or elsewhere but if every post contributed on this board had the factual and research level of Wiki as a minimum wouldn't you agree that would be a raise of standards in these forums?



And yes, I argee with this completely!



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by PhantomLimb
We all know that Wikipedia entries can be changed by anyone with an account on Wikipedia's site. So, why is it such a common source?


Because common sense is not common. It's just like using a forum post as a source. There is no proof to the validity of it. Then again, I could argue that CNN is not a credible source, either. However, that's a stretch.



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