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Archiver > APG > 2007-12 > 1197342708

From: Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer <>
Subject: Re: [APG] WIKIPEDIA
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 22:11:48 -0500
References: <436968.88398.qm@web56110.mail.re3.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <436968.88398.qm@web56110.mail.re3.yahoo.com>

I can't give you specific citations, because my article file is at work,
but there are several colleges or college departments that have banned
the use of Wikipedia as a cited source on papers. Note that they aren't
cutting off access to Wikipedia; they're just saying it's not a
scholarly source. At one college, this came about because a history
professor assigned the same paper topic to all the students in his
class. When six of the papers contained the same egregious error, he did
some sleuthing and found that it came from Wikipedia. Many people may
remember that a few years ago, people in a political campaign edited the
article about their candidate's opponent to include some false slurs and
accusations. The problem with Wikipedia is that you can't be sure who
entered a particular bit of information and what that person's
credentials are, and a "fact" that a student pulls for a paper may be
incorrect, but entered so recently that no one has had a chance to
contest it. The college whose history department has banned it as a
cited source still says that many articles will give a good overview and
a good bibliography that can get students started on their research.
I've spoken with writing and history teachers at the college where I am
the reference librarian, and they like the idea of banning it as a cited
source--I think some of them have individually done so.


Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Genealogical Writer and Speaker
Author of Long Distance Genealogy:
Researching Your Ancestors from Home

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