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View Poll Results: Is Wikipedia a useful tool as a source for scholarly debate?
Yes, in all circumstances 6 13.64%
Yes, but for background information and general statistics only 12 27.27%
Yes, but to be used with extreme caution 17 38.64%
No, unless there is no other resource available 3 6.82%
No, in all circumstances 5 11.36%
Depends on the topic being argued 1 2.27%
What is Wikipedia? 0 0%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:30 AM   #1
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Wikipedia as an FYM source

All through university my profs have told me that Wikipedia is wholly invalid as a source for an academic paper, due to its open editorial policy.

Which now has me thinking, should Wikipedia be accepted as a legitimate source for intelligent debate in FYM? Background information and general statistics seem to be alright to use, but I mean if someone grabs an idea from a Wikipedia article, should we treat that idea the same as if it were backed up by a scholarly paper? Does the fact that this is a message board change anything?

What I'm/the poll is asking: should Wikipedia be accepted as an intellectual source in this forum?

I'm curious about peoples' opinions on this. I know I treat it as factual pretty often and use it as an easy research tool. Generally I find the information to be reasonably accurate and it's pretty in-depth on a lot of topics that would otherwise be extremely tough to research. I vote yes but with extreme care.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:54 AM   #2
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In my school and university the Internet generally is not considered as the best source to use.

We are asked to use as much literature as possible, and use the internet only for general information or use newssites or other valid sources (university pages, governmental pages etc.).
My oral exam in school was about the IRA, and during my research I visited both the English and the German wikipedia page.

To make it short: one was right, the other one blatantly wrong.

I also bought a book about this topic that showed which of both articles was wrong (but don't ask me now, I can't say which was wrong).

I would say, if you have a better source, use it.
And if you use wikipedia, try to double check the information you got from there, if you have the time and possibilty.
It would also help to take a look at the sources given at the bottom of the article.
Of course, you can't be sure that they have actually been used, but at least you see whether there was an author that has taken his time to find some books.
And in a rapidly growing thread you don't have the time to search for various sources too long.

And I think, if someone takes wikipedia as a source, and the article is wrong, there will be someone who knows better and point out the wrong information backed with a better source.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:54 AM   #3
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Yes, but to be used with extreme caution
---

I would use it and i would say this is someone's opnion.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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To be used with extreme caution only.
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Wikipedia as an FYM source

Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
All through university my profs have told me that Wikipedia is wholly invalid as a source for an academic paper, due to its open editorial policy.



What I'm/the poll is asking: should Wikipedia be accepted as an intellectual source in this forum?

No.
If it will let any buffoon in as it's editor than absolutely not.

dbs
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:30 PM   #6
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Re: Re: Wikipedia as an FYM source

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Originally posted by diamond


No.
If it will let any buffoon in as it's editor than absolutely not.

dbs
Its weak point is also its strong point - completely erroneous statements are usually picked up and fixed or deleted fairly quickly by someone who knows what they're talking about.

Multiple investigations have shown Wikipedia is nearly, if not just as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

And it's not like print encyclopediae are error-free, either.

ETA: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...ory/Technology
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
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i like the strength of my point.

thank u

dbs
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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Fair enough. I agree with you to some extent that you ought to doublecheck facts from WP, but I don't think it should be dismissed outright as a useful reference tool.
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:57 PM   #9
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:37 PM   #10
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I only use Wikipedia as a jump-off point for further research. It tells me the general direction I should look.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:43 PM   #11
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Yes, but to be used with extreme caution

That's my vote
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:34 PM   #12
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I personally feel that the rise of the iGeneration in the past decade has been, for the most part, of great detriment to society and I reckon the world would have been a better place if the internet (as we now know it) never existed.

But Wikipedia is one of the few things about the internet that I have developed high regard for. Encyclopedias never came close to serving the needs of all information seekers in the world.

Wikipedia has reliable information on almost everything. Not just the boring old topics about has been philosophers and types of trees. Wikipedia will give you masses of info on a particular song, on a current day foottballer or on a long-defunct but much enjoyed Tv show. All stuff you couldn't get from those piss weak encyclopedias.

So what if Wikipedia is open for anyone to edit. I'd rather read what real people have to say than shallow and pompous academics who are caged away in some office writing books that no one cares about. I wanna find out about information that is important to the people of today.

And furthermore, most encyclopedias don't even have a bibliography or footnoting, whereas wikipedia does. In this respect, whilst the encyclopedia only claims to present the truth, wikipedia actually cites from where a particular piece of info has been obtained. One reason why I trust wikipedia more than the work of some one-dimensional and sheltered scholar. In my history course, I was to told to ask questions about the reliability of a source. So I do so when I confront an encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia is selective and elitst in what information it presents. Wikipedia is more democratic. If a topic is considered important by at least one person, than Wikipedia will cater for the compilation of relevant information.

Wikipedia continues to grow and much to the greater good of the world.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by intedomine
And furthermore, most encyclopedias don't even have a bibliography or footnoting, whereas wikipedia does.
You do realize that there are sources other than encyclopedias in the library, right?
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


You do realize that there are sources other than encyclopedias in the library, right?
Yeah, but they're usually long and they waffle on. And a lot of these shcolarly articles don't have an index.

If I want to start doing research on something, I want more than a pathetically brief article in an encyclopedia and less than an academic's long-winded ego-trip....Wikipedia provides this alternative.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #15
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I know that Wikipedia is used very frequently as a resource by a couple of FYMers in here, and I have never understood why. Perhaps a lack of other avenues for finding things out, I'm not sure.

Either way, I detest Wikipedia as a source for anything. It has questionable accuracy. I think it is probably OK only as a general start to finding something out, or for a very scant view on any given thing, never to base an argument or point of view on - which it does get used for.
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