learning portfolio 4 – Q2

Q2.

Wikipedia is not a credible resource for academic assignments because anyone can contribute or update entries.  This means that “Users may be reading information that is outdated or that has been posted by someone who is not an expert in the field or by someone who wishes to provide misinformation” (Harvard University, 2016).  Much of the information on Wikipedia may be correct and up to date, but there is no guarantee of this, and sometimes entries are trolled with misinformation, malicious content or joke entries.  However the site does employ editors and unlike print sources “errors can be corrected and often are in a matter of hours” (Ghajar, 2010-2016).  Therefore it is up to the reader to use their own discretion and assess whether the presented information seems credible.

Wikipedia is a useful resource for familiarizing oneself with a topic.  It is best used as a launching point for further research using credible resources.  In fact, the founder of Wikipedia himself stated in an interview with Business Week that “People shouldn’t be citing encyclopedias in the first place. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias should … give good, solid background information to inform your studies for a deeper level.” (Ghajar, 2010-2016).  Whilst Wikipedia is not a credible resource, it can be a valuable learning tool in the beginning stages of research.  Entries may also provide references which are credible and usable in an academic context.

 

References

Ghajar, L. A. (2010-2016). Wikipedia: Credible Research Source or Not? TeachingHistory.org.  Retrieved from http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/ask-a-digital-historian/23863

Harvard University. (2016). Evaluating Web Sources. Harvard Guide to Using Sources: A Publication of the Harvard College Writing Program.  Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page346375

 

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