Wikipedia, not bad as some profs said

I’ve heard about Wikipedia long time ago and have used it many times. Although, Wikipedia is not recommended for academic purpose, I still use it as my starting point on my paper or project when I have no clue where to start. As Stacy pointed out in the article that Wikipedia has more than 1 million entries and Encyclopedia Britannica only has 120 thousand entries. Honestly, I never did any research on Wikipedia before I read Stacy’s article, and I was shocked that Wikipedia was so well organized and did such a fine job. I really like the words Wales said “To me, the key thing is getting it right. I don’t care if they’re a high-school kid or a Harvard professor.” I think this goal is very realistic. Everyone has his/her own strength and people could provide authorized information on a specific subject even they dropped out from high school. So I think that we should not simply oppose using Wikipedia, especially at schools and libraries. In contrast, we, as future information professionals, should consider some other better solutions, and take advantage of this useful tool. For instance, we could contribute the information on Wikipedia and make sure that readers could find correct and authorized information. Also we could teach users how to analyze the information, verify sources and filter out wrong messages. So if we could slightly adjust our angle of view, Wikipedia is not as bad as some profs said in the class.

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4 Responses to “Wikipedia, not bad as some profs said”

  1. marco934 Says:

    I agree, and I think that would be a great resource for a library to put together- an understanding Wikipedia guide, perhaps it can be a wiki and then it can grow and develop with users participation.
    I was also intrigued by the complex editing and revising systems of Wikipedia.

  2. Joanne Says:

    I agree that Wikipedia definitely has its place in a library and in education. I think you make a good point that it can be used an an instructional tool about analyzing and filtering information. It is unlikely that patrons and students won’t use Wikipedia: it is such an easily accessible resource…why shouldn’t librarians take the initiative and help people to use Wikipedia well?

    I liked Wales comment about “getting it right” as well. It shifts the importance from authority to accuracy (isn’t better accuracy the reason we seek authoritative sources anyway?).

  3. Wikiality and truthiness… « A Commodius Vicus of Recirculation Says:

    […] 13th, 2007 I completely concur with Qingyi in regards to Wikipedia despite persistent detractors both within and outside the library […]

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