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College: Wikipedia Not A Source For Papers

All you college students better start thinking twice when looking for research sources online! The AP recently reported that Middlebury College history students are no longer allowed to use Wikipedia in preparing class papers. Apparently, the school's history department recently adopted a policy that says it's OK to consult the popular online encyclopedia, but that it can't be cited as an authoritative source by students.

The policy says, in part, "Wikipedia is not an acceptable citation, even though it may lead one to a citable source." For those of you that don't know, wikipedia is a user-generated free content, multilingual encyclopedia.

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bpjedi bpjedi 9 years
The whole point of a Wiki is that it provides information by communal effort--that's why anybody can change 'em, although there are watchdogs on Wikipedia who watch out for craziness. I think Wikipedia is a great resource in that you can access random information really quickly with it. However, I tell my students that they can't use it as an official source for papers. I think most professors/instructors have the same policy, even if it isn't official. I'm surprised this made the news, as I haven't heard of a college instructor who does accept Wikipedia as a source.
ikitty13 ikitty13 9 years
Ummm.... I didn't know all this, even though i use Wikipedia very often. I didnt know you could actually change things if you wanted to. Why would they let people do that....
Moni-B Moni-B 9 years
A professor at my university hands out a copy of what seems to be an innocent print off from wikipedia and has a student volunteer to read it out loud. It all sounds fine and dandy until the reader starts reading a bunch of expletives. A lot of professors here express that wikipedia is not a good source. The ability for users to change things willy nilly is a good enough for me to think twice about what I'm reading. On the Colbert Report, Stephen actually advocated his viewers to change an article on elephants to reflect that their population was increasing. And viewers did; the administration had to lock the article off so that no more changes could be made. ~M~
ikitty13 ikitty13 9 years
Absurd. Why? I don't see the reason.
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