Using Wikipedia

Uploaded by UELconnect on 07.02.2011

KB: If a student wants to use Wikipedia, I would say that it’s not a bad place to start
in as much as they can get an overview of what it is they’re looking for. Perhaps
get a flavour for the issue. But what I would suggest is, if it actually comes to using
it as a reference point in their work, it indicates that they’re not researching the
subject area properly. Possibly that they’re being lazy by going there as opposed to going
elsewhere. What I would also point out is that it’s open access which means that the
information on there can be changed by anybody at any time.
>> SB: Wikipedia’s always a thorny issue for students. It is a good resource and it
can be a good starting point for research but Wikipedia has many problems, one of which
is it’s written by ordinary people - some of which will be referenced, some of which
will be researched, but it might not be in the best possible way. The second thing about
it is the information is not always in the most accessible format. Sometimes the English
on a Wikipedia page is not as good as it should be and therefore it can be confusing about
what the entry is about. I suppose the third thing I always think about with Wikipedia
is, it’s often the first search on Google which, to me, often shows that students haven’t
done any more research. So they haven’t gone to the second or third or the fourth
page that’s come up, they’ve gone to the first one, they’ve taken everything they’ve
read and they haven’t backed it up. At university level, you should be looking at more than
one source to back up your information.