No required discussion about Wikipedia


Continuing the discussion from Readings: Wikis and Wikipedia:

You are not required to participate in this discussion

Sorry, @isd581. I meant to get this discussion started on Monday, but failed to notice that it wasn’t in place when I went out of town last week. I still recommend the Giles article. If you are interested in why people contribute to Wikipedia, see Baytiyeh & Pfaffman (2010) written by one of my former students.

If you are a teacher and hear people say things like “You can’t use Wikipedia because anyone can edit it,” you might find Giles (2005) helpful.

TL;DR + my 2 cents:

  • Wikipedia is pretty much as reliable as Encyclopedia Britannica
  • As a rule, you do not cite any encyclopedia as an authoritative source
  • Do schools even have encyclopedias anymore?

I thought it was a comic, but perhaps it was just a story that I heard. A kid sees a set of encyclopedias and asks his father what it is.

“That’s an encyclopedia.”

“Someone printed THE WHOLE THING?!”


Both of these are available via the South proxy server.

Giles, J. (2005). Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. News@nature, 438(7070), 900–901. doi:10.1038/438900a

Baytiyeh, H. & Pfaffman, J. A. (2010). Volunteers in Wikipedia: When the Community Matters. Educational Technology and Society, 13(2), 128-140.