Thursday, February 1, 2007

More on Wikipedia: Banned for Undergrads, but Cited by Judges

The Chronicle of Higher Education contributes to the discussion about using Wikipedia, and increasing efforts to restrict citations to the on-line encyclopedia by undergraduates, with an interview with Middlebury College History Dept. Chair, Don J. Wyatt, circulated in its on-line newsletter today.

Yesterday's Legal History Blog post about U.S. judges citing to Wikipedia in opinions is here. My bottom line: U.S. judges should be held to no lower standards than undergrads. It's one thing to begin your research with a Wikipedia entry. But citing to it as authority, rather than a peer-reviewed secondary source? In an opinion? Yikes!

Here's a little from the Wyatt interview:
Q. When did the history department decide it needed to codify an official policy against citing Wikipedia?

A. We'd been deliberating on Wikipedia for almost half a year, but what really tipped the balance was the fact that we found there were multiple instances of students citing Wikipedia for the same misinformation. Wikipedia is very seductive: We all are sort of enamored of the convenience and speed of the Web. From the standpoint of access, it's a marvelous thing. But from the standpoint of maintaining quality, it's much less so.

For the rest, click here (requires a subscription -- try your library).

1 comment:

Jenya said...
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