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College: Students My Not Cite Wikipedia As Souce  
User currently offlineBoomBoom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

Quote:
Middlebury College history students are no longer allowed to use Wikipedia in preparing class papers.

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."

History professor Neil Waters says Wikipedia is an ideal place to start research but an unacceptable way to end it.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/cp_K021308AU.xml.html

I can understand why they're doing this. The open source method is too vulnerable to malicious people planting false information. On the other hand, "mainstream" encyclopedias are not necessarily infallible. Wikis are updated much more frequently.

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2774 times:

You can always go to the bottom of the Wikipedia page and find the article used to update Wikipedia (if possible) and cite that in your paper. Doing that is legal and handy.

User currently offlineUnoflygirl From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 140 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2760 times:

Some of my instructors at Univ of Neb. at Omaha strongly argue against the use of Wikipedia. However, they haven't forbidden its use as long as it's not the sole source for all the information. I prefer not to use it unless I can't find anything else. I don't think it should be a forbidden source. I just think that people should exercise caution when using it, don't always know the complete accuracy of the information.

Karly



"I'm not anxious to die...just anxious to matter"
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2753 times:

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 1):
You can always go to the bottom of the Wikipedia page and find the article used to update Wikipedia

That is not always true. Not all information listed is backed by a source.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2747 times:

As a university student here, I can say that all of my professors have different policies to Wikipedia.

My Air Traffic Control class professor (who is an ATC'controller himself) said that use of Wiki as a source is allowed (with restrictions), but my English professor and the English department strictly prohibits it.


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2741 times:

As a rule, I start at Wikipedia, but I dont finish there. Its a useful tool to find what information you should actually be looking for, and pointing you in the right direction to find it. It is grossly wrong on some articles tho.

User currently offlineAAce24 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 849 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2735 times:

I always just stay safe and never use it as a source.

That way I don't have any problems regardless...


User currently offlineHPLASOps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2720 times:

Even 4 years ago when I was in college, almost every professor I had strongly said Wikipedia is not a valid source for anything - this really isn't news to me.

User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1419 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2705 times:

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 7):
this really isn't news to me.

Me either. At my university it is just a given that you don't use Wikipedia. You are supposed to write an academic paper using academic sources such as peer reviewed journal articles and books- Wikipedia is neither of these. Maybe it is a problem with incoming students hence the policy.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26601 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2694 times:

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
On the other hand, "mainstream" encyclopedias are not necessarily infallible.

No, which is why they have never been considered authoritative sources. I learned that one in 6th grade.

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
Wikis are updated much more frequently.

By 13 year olds with nothing better to do.

Wikipedia is pure academic and intellectual laziness. While it may give you a nice general idea of a subject, it can in no way be considered authoritative. I think that with the rise of the internet, particularly Wikipedia, they should make it a required class in high school to learn how to research using books. Start with a dictionary and go on from there.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAA61Hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2679 times:

I couldn't imagine citing that on a paper in college. Crap, my profs made me go to the library and search for books. We typically were only allowed 1 internet source per paper (minimum of 7 sources usually).

I wouldn't allow a WIKI source in my class either. I love it though just to read about random topics.



Go big or go home
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2675 times:

Pretty much the same rules as above.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
I think that with the rise of the internet, particularly Wikipedia, they should make it a required class in high school to learn how to research using books.

I share a lot of your sentiment, but there's nothing wrong w/ JSTOR or even lexusnexus (though newspaper articles after your 200 level classes begin to get more and more scrutinized).


User currently offlineNeilYYZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2675 times:

While it wasn't outlawed at the University of Windsor, it certainly was not encouraged, and papers that used it never seemed to get the marks of those that didn't. As a rule I would never use it writing a paper, most of the information on Wikipedia is available at the University library anyhow, just a matter of spending some time looking for it.

User currently offlineNancy From United States of America, joined May 2004, 467 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2664 times:

Since most college students have access to multiple academic databases (LexisNexis, JSTOR) using Wikipedia is totally pointless. It might be right, but it is also "some guy said".

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7786 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2653 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
No, which is why they have never been considered authoritative sources. I learned that one in 6th grade.

Tertiary sources, such as encyclopedias are generally not acceptable in a research paper plain and simple. You wouldn't use the World Book Encyclopedia on a college level paper, same thing applies w/ Wikipedia.

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 11):
I share a lot of your sentiment, but there's nothing wrong w/ JSTOR or even lexusnexus

And as a university student you have access to a wide variety of good, full-text databases through your library. Hell, you don't even have to physically go to to library to use them. The thing w/ JSTOR in particular is that all the articles are sourced from peer-reviewed academic journals. These are primary sources and have undergone considerable scrutiny prior to publication. Lexus-Nexis pulls primarily from mainstream periodicals... so you need to be careful in how you use them.

Quoting AA61Hvy (Reply 10):
I love it though just to read about random topics.

Same here. Its a nice reference source, but that is all its good for.... reference.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26601 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2639 times:

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 11):
but there's nothing wrong w/ JSTOR or even lexusnexus (though newspaper articles after your 200 level classes begin to get more and more scrutinized).

I use LexisNexis every day (prefer it to Westlaw) because it is a much easier way to find case law than combing through a library, but I still have to look to the actual cases, which are published somewhere else. My point was that book research needs to be there to provide the fundamental foundation for a researcher and then that can be built on by internet sources.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2632 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 14):
Lexus-Nexis pulls primarily from mainstream periodicals... so you need to be careful in how you use them.

Well aware, hence the 200 level warning. A huge problem with JSTOR is the 5 yr lag, I'm assuming for copyright and intellectual property integrity.

Internet sources, however, are another story. Some of my teachers dismissed them, but as a whole many would accept the source so long a) as I used a full APA (never cared much for MLA) citation and b) used an online source that served as an online copy to a print source: academic journals, government documents, legal citaitions, and newspaper/ magazine articles.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 14):
Hell, you don't even have to physically go to to library to use them.

Helping make America fatter  

EDIT:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
My point was that book research needs to be there to provide the fundamental foundation for a researcher and then that can be built on by internet sources.

Personally, your point is acknowledged in many (mandatory) freshman level seminars, not to mention in many English 101 classes.

[Edited 2007-02-14 01:09:18]

User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2601 times:

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
Quote:
Middlebury College history students are no longer allowed to use Wikipedia in preparing class papers.

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."

History professor Neil Waters says Wikipedia is an ideal place to start research but an unacceptable way to end it.

http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/cp_K021308AU.xml.html

I can understand why they're doing this. The open source method is too vulnerable to malicious people planting false information. On the other hand, "mainstream" encyclopedias are not necessarily infallible. Wikis are updated much more frequently.

The problem you have is that too often students view wikipedia as the end, rather than the beginning. I've got no problems with my students using it as a point of departure but as far as an authoritative and peer reviewed source it's nonexistent, as is citation to nearly everything on the internet, sadly enough.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
I think that with the rise of the internet, particularly Wikipedia, they should make it a required class in high school to learn how to research using books. Start with a dictionary and go on from there.

I couldn't agree more.

With respect to the legal stuff, if you first learn how to research in hard copy and master the West system of W&P, CJS, digest, annotated codes and reporters, nothing in the internet, lexis or westlaw will ever confuse you. On the other hand, if all you know about it is using L/N or W on the tube, what in the hell are you going to do when the lights go out or your laptop hits the deck-ask for a continuance? At my boot camp, the first semester and most of the second was "In the library-hard copy!" They wouldn't let us have access until halfway through the 2d half of the first year.
But, if you learned systematic research in the books, the internet makes your life more pleasant.

See, here's the deal. What people doing legal research the allegedly "new" way don't understand is that it's still a print medium, it's just displayed on a screen and a little more searchable.


User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2585 times:

I don't see a big problem with that - Wikipedia is extremely handy for beginning research, but it's not the end all be all.



-NWA742


User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3508 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2563 times:

Good call on the college's party. It's fine to use Wikipedia for preliminary research, but if you're going to site something you read there you should probably look up the citation (I don't touch anything on Wikipedia that isn't cited), validate its validity and use that for your footnotes/bibliography. Web citations that aren't official government documents or news reports generally look pretty sketch in my opinion, so I generally try to track down the original source of anything I read online when doing research.


Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7786 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
My point was that book research needs to be there to provide the fundamental foundation for a researcher and then that can be built on by internet sources.

Searching through the stacks, you know those things with the books on em, can often times be very useful too. You'll often find materials that you would have never uncovered in a database search.

In my experience the most useful resource for doing research are bibliographies in materials that I find in my first pass through.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2529 times:

Why would anyone cite Wikipedia? That's as good as citing "A drunk guy named Bob who I found sitting in a booth at Hardee's last Tuesday night."

Mark


User currently offlineBoomBoom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2526 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
No, which is why they have never been considered authoritative sources. I learned that one in 6th grade.

Then the college should ban all encyclopedia cites; not just Wikis.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Wikis are updated much more frequently.

By 13 year olds with nothing better to do.

That's a rather unfair characterization, or are you just trolling?

[Edited 2007-02-14 02:23:46]

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7786 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2516 times:

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 22):
Then the college should ban all encyclopedia cites; not just Wikis.

Cite World Book or Encyclopedia Brittanica in your next college paper and let me know how that goes. Tertiary sources are not acceptable, whether they be Brittanica or Wikipedia.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineLHboyatDTW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2489 times:

I've done research papers since the 7th grade and am currently doing one on alternate fuel sources. I'm not 100% sure on the use of Wikipedia as a source, but from my experiences of doing a research paper, citing an encyclopedia seems to be a big taboo in terms of term papers so I never bother even looking at them unless it's as a last resort.

I can think of many English teachers that would commit homicide by even seeing someone cite an encyclopedia. At times it helps me in English, but I would never ever use it for a term paper.

Though as far as classes for learning how to find research in books, they should have Citing 101 as I seem to find that a royal pain in the ass for any term paper.


25 MaidensGator : I use West only because they gave us a better deal than Lexis last year. I like being able to cut and paste my quotes from the cases into my briefs..
26 Post contains images AsstChiefMark : Isn't that what you learn in your first-semester freshman English class? I did. I found the university's policy change to utilize APA style to be wic
27 Scottieprecord : Haha. We tried that in English last year. Our whole AP English group (50 or so) took a trip up to San Marcos to research at the Texas State library.
28 Post contains links BoomBoom : Where I work we have statutes and regulations in books or online, they're the exact same thing. It's a blurry line, not a bright one, between bound p
29 WellHung : If students can't take the time to do their own research instead of relying on an Internet site, their time would be better spent digging ditches inst
30 Gemuser : Not to be overly picky, but these are secondary sources, ALL published sources are secondary or lower. Primary sources are the unpublished sources fr
31 MaidensGator : I totally agree that electronic material is not inferior. I use it daily. My observation has been that law students are becoming more reliant on the
32 Dougloid : See, here's the deal. Ever wonder why they've got those big tables in the library-they're for opening up a dozen reporters or so. If you once learn t
33 BoomBoom : From the article I linked to: I imagine it will take time for students to warm to ebooks. I remember when newspapers first appeared online, for sever
34 Jush : Do not cite wikipedia... standard at our university since.... ever. I think it is correct.
35 Post contains images Saxdiva : When I assign papers, I caution people that Wikipedia is not considered a credible source, and that I'd better see some REAL references in their work.
36 KaiGywer : Like Saxdiva said, we are allowed to use Wikipedia as a secondary source, but all points in the paper need to be proven by a reputable source. Some pr
37 TRVYYZ : Wikipedia is not a source but a rough guide that may lead you to the right source if you are lucky.
38 Pelican : It's the same here. Nonetheless wikipedia has become a usfull tool to get a brief overview of a topic. pelican
39 Dougloid : Not entirely sure about that....my students are all pretty young. I mean, it works for some of them, for some it doesn't. It's certainly not anything
40 Post contains images KaiGywer : The thing is...although laptops are fairly portable, my eyes still prefer reading a book rather than reading on the screen. I guess optometrists woul
41 Jcs17 : What the hell? Since when is this news? I've always had professors tell our classes not to cite Wikipedia because you will lose points if you do. I do
42 BoomBoom : Not really news. The reason I posted it was because there is always some controversy when people cite Wikipedia in these forums. Some people just aut
43 Post contains images Ctbarnes : When I was teaching, I had no problem with research from the internet, but it had to be from scholarly sources and/or primary texts. There are pleanty
44 Jcs17 : In high school, and I went to a decent private school in Atlanta, we were always told to cite using MLA criteria because that's what the universities
45 Saxdiva : Naw, we just prefer to keep the loser students guessing.
46 DesertJets : That and I am sure there is some scam between MLA, APA, Chicago, etc to make us buying those damn style guides. I hate Turabian with a passion. I use
47 OzGlobal : Citing Wikipedia as a research source in serious study is a pretty lazy approach. Webster's Encyclopedia, however, used to state that Sydney was the c
48 N1120A : See the problem there? Well, that does suck That is shocking considering West's reputation for being the pricer one. Naturally. Then again, AmJur can
49 Tom in NO : Agreed.....to me Wikipedia is to research/report writing what Texas Instruments was to math years and years ago...a lazy way to do to your homework.
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