|Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):|
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.
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.