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Wikipedia - Redefining Research

A few weeks ago I posted a tip by Christie Wright Wild (Tip Tuesday #117) on using Wikipedia as a leaping point for research. This led to an interesting discussion in the comments as to whether or not Wiki is a reliable resource. About a week later, I received an e-mail from a reader, Jen Rhee, who wanted to share this infographic about the way Wikipedia is redefining the way we research. Interested in continuing the discussion? Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments. We would love to hear them!

Wikipedia

23 comments:

  1. Geesh, these kids today - in my day, you had to copy out of books word for word by hand.

    But really, I've appreciated it greatly. I've edited a few entries about authors, but mostly I've been impressed about how whatever you want to know, from trains in Scotland to the next episode of your favorite show, it's there.

    It's definitely becoming our Hitchhiker's Guide, which "has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom."

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  2. I will always and forever have a soft spot for Encyclopaedia Brittannica - my library has the last ever 32 volume set - and they're just beautiful to browse through.

    But I'd prefer if we don't all rely on the quicker and free Wikipedia for all research! LOL!

    Take care
    x

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  3. Wikipedia is a great starting point for research. When I did my series on research for writers, I called it level one. The only problem is that you don't want to use it as your only resource. You can't trust it to always be 100% correct, especially on controversial issues like history and politics.

    Still, that's a great info-graphic.

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  4. I agree with Matt that Wikipedia is a great starting point for research. It usually gets me going on further research as does Google.

    It was interesting reading all the stats. I'm surprised readership at libraries is down. Because I read that it was up do to the recession.

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  5. I second and third everybody else when I say that Wikipedia is a great place to start research. I don't allow my college students to cite it in there papers, but I encourage them to use the citations from Wikipedia to lead them to other sources. But then again, I would encourage people to use a regular encyclopedia to start research and then move on to more scholarly sources. Encyclopedias provide a nice overview of the topic, but shouldn't be relied upon alone. Oh, and I just learned about Google Scholar, which is a great place to do research.

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  6. The statistics that caught my eye are the ones about teachers and students. It's interesting that so many teachers are now allowing students to cite from Wiki. It's definitely accurate most of the time, and I love using it for research, but I worry about that pesky 2% of non-accuracy when it comes to formal papers or published works. And by not having to go to the library or contact people for information, students are missing out on some useful life skills. And we're encouraging it if we don't expect more. I totally believe the statistic that 56% of kids stop researching when Wiki doesn't have much to offer, and it makes me sad! Just another way technology is eliminating humanity's resourcefulness, IMO.

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  7. Gotta agree with Casey. When my nephew said he was doing a paper on foxes, I stacked up some books for him, but when he dropped by, he said he'd already done his research on the web. And I thought, that poor teacher - every paper is going to be the same.

    Wiki's superb for quick reference and learning more about your favorite album, but for important research it's like any encyclopedia - one condensed version of all that's out there.

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  8. WHOA-- so interesting! As a starting point, great. Maybe teachers should have their students site additional sources beyond Wiki-like 2-3 more (and maybe they do)! Thanks for this!

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  9. Really interesting graphic. Have to say though that our school district clearly has not gotten the accuracy memo, because they ban the use of Wikipedia for most research.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Martina

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  10. That graphic is definitely an eye catcher. I've always had an appreciation for Wikipedia but I've often thought of it as a starting point and additonal sources are great to concur with information gathered.

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  11. Wow...really interesting graphic. I don't think Wikipedia can be used in my daughter's school. I've used it in my research for the hf novel I'm working on, but only as a back us source. I've used the BBC.com much more.

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  12. Great information and discussion here. I always start with Wikipedia and use the bibliographical info at the end to find sources.

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  13. Wikipedia is such a great resource. I almost never use it exclusively, but then, with good research you shouldn't be just using one source anyway.

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  14. I saw this somewhere else recently and found it to be fascinating. I'm in my mid twenties and I don't remember using Wikipedia when I was in high school, but I don't necessarily remember using an Encyclopaedia either. As a writer, I use Wikipedia almost everyday to springboard my research! Great post.

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  15. It is a great leaping off point--you can often find academic resources (which are legitimate sources) listed. I use Wiki a lot for fiction research (where the source doesn't need to be academic), but only as one of my jumping off points for nonfiction.

    I remember growing up, my parents invested in a set of encyclopedias for the family. They were beautiful to read and use for research. Amazing how times change.

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  16. Really interesting. Like others have mentioned, it's a good starting place but I would never write a paper based on it. It's sad that students are using libraries less, but I guess it makes sense since so much information is online. The only issue is whether what they find on Wikipedia is accurate.

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  17. I love Wikipedia as a starting point. It always gives me a direction to go, even if it isn't exactly accurate. Great breakdown, this is awesome!

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  18. Fascinating figures. Like many others, I only use Wikipedia as a starting point for extra information if I need to. I have so many reference books at home after years of study that I'd still go to them first. And I loved my childhood set of E.B.

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  19. Wow, that's fascinating. I'm sorry it's lessened library use. But honestly, I hated doing library research. I use Wikipedia all the time, and don't find errors. When I'd direct student to use "approved" sites, like Encyclopedia Britannica, there was always less information. And when I'd give them a cart of book, they sat ignored in favor of internet research. (And sadly, when writing this comment, I knew how to spell Wikipedia, but had to check how to spell Britannica).

    I'm sharing this on Facebook.

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  20. I've used Wikipedia with my students - and warned them of the pros and cons of the site. It's a good starting off point for sure! :)

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  21. I use it as a starting point. And it's great for checking out info on tv shows. You can start watching them during any season and catch up with what you missed. :D

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  22. I've heard that Wikipedia has as good as or better a record for accuracy as Encylopedia Britannica.

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