Friday, June 16, 2006

Wikipedia to students: Stop citing our site

From CNET News
"Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, has asked that college students refrain from citing Wikipedia as a source of academic research.

Yes, some actually are...and then complaining to him when teachers give them failing grades for doing it.

While speaking at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Wales said that he receives about 10 e-mails a week from complaining college students. While Wales thinks Wikipedia is useful for many things, he said that he would like to make it known that he does not recommend it to college students for serious research.

He also expressed little sympathy for any college student who would still rely on an encyclopedia for academic info. He did say, however, that Wikipedia has considered putting out a fact sheet on the site. It would explain the nature of Wikipedia and why it's not always a definitive source. Teachers could hand it out, he said.

Aside from the obvious accuracy debate, the mere nature of Wikipedia as a constantly changing open source encyclopedia goes against the purpose of academic attribution.

Wales' comments were reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education."

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