I was wondering if I can use wikipedia as a source now that it's so big.
Is wikipedia now a reliable source to use for academic papers?
No, you should not use wikipedia as a source for academic papers. Generally speaking, the scientific articles are quite accurate(of course there is always change and new discoveries), but there is reason to distrust any other type of article. There could be slight biases in other types of articles (history, religion, etc) because they are written (or at least the information is collected) by people who are very interested in the topics. Usually, these are people who are very passionate and especially if they are in academia, they have argued from certain point of views. Remember that leaving out information counts as a form of bias. Furthermore, the longer articles tend to take parts from other wikipedia articles, so you would have to trust that those articles are accurate. History (and other topics) are written by the winners.
This brings up points about the lack of accountability: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~echi/papers/2008-CHI2008/2008-04-CHI2008-WikiDashboard.pdf
This professor brings up an interesting point here: http://www.acmuller.net/wikipedia.html
I would say that it is perfectly fine to use wikipedia to get a good idea, but refer to the websites and sources that are cited in the article. Go directly to those sources and if those are legitimate, use those cited sources as part of your cited sources.
I would not trust Wikipedia as a source. I also would not accept is a reliable source when grading papers as a as teacher.
I do believe that Wikipedia can be used to help in writing papers. Instead of quoting from what Wikipedia says, you can use the citations at the bottom of the page to help guide you to other sources. You should then acquire these sources for yourself. That will require you to determine the reliability of each individual source.
In other words, do not use Wikipedia as a source for academic papers. Use it as a reference tool to help speed up your search for other resources.
I think if a Wikipedia article has good citations, then you can use it. There are worse resources out there. However, try to find better research, or double check anything you find in Wikipedia against other sources so you know your information is accurate.
Wikipedia is generally not considered a scholarly source. It is not peer reviewed as most reputable journals or other online or print material are that are considered "expert" sources. Also, Wiki is open source. Anyone with Internet access can be published, and while there are many that contribute there (and some are indeed very passionate about the subject material) the chance that you take if you choose to use it is not worth finding out that the material is incorrect.
In a nutshell it has many potential pitfalls, so I recommend not using this as source material.
Good researching skills lead to new knowledge. Avoid the Wiki trap.
Wikipedia is not a good source of information.
We all know as we start researching Wikipedia is usually one of the web-sites to pop up. You should really expand you research. When you go to search engines like GOOGLE OR BING , for example, type in a specific event a long with the persons name as well. For example, I go to GOOGLE and type: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. There will be other sources to pop up besides Wikipedia. Before you decide to use Wikipedia see if the person has a web-site. Use key words.
Most of the time when you are in high school or college, instructors will advise you not to use Wikipedia. Its not reliable. Anyone can go in there and edit anything or even suggest an edit and apparently it'll happen. Be more open to other sources on the internet. Honestly, you can never go wrong by using books in the library. Just be sure to source your information at the end of the paper.
I, too, would not use Wikipedia as a source; however, Wikipedia is great as a starting point--in other words, look at their external sources. If those sources are reliable, you could use them in your paper.
One final point. Wikipedia sources, word for word, sound canned, as if someone else obviously wrote them. Your teacher, professor, (whatever) will most likely read your response and react negatively to it.
I agree. I would also avoid using wikipedia. There are many circumstances in which it is a reliable source, but when writing papers, you want expert opinions on your topic, and not all writers of wikipedia articles are experts. For example, I am a math expert and very good at physics, but I am no expert in history. Yet I can log into wikipedia and edit a history article.
Also, you must be cautious when using wikipedia. There is a professor who has her students find and edit articles so that some information in them is wrong. She has them do this as an experiment to see how long it takes for wikipedia to detect these bad changes and correct them. When I took "History of Mathematics for Teachers", our professor brought up an article on Copernicus. In it, we saw it mention Copernicus' birth year as 2021 or so and death year as something like 2048. After I came home, I searched for Copernicus and found that this error has been corrected. Who knows, there may be people out there who create accounts on wikipedia and make similar bad edits but do so for the thrill of it. I would bet that wikipedia closes accounts that such people create.