Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reading Response 4: Will Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?

I had no idea before reading this article how content of wikipedia was actually checked. I admit that I use wikipedia fairly often to retrieve information and it never occurs to me to second guess my findings. I immediately take the information as valid if listed in wikipedia. Since the information is updated by users, I assume it can be very easy to put in false information. After reading the article “Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade” I have realized that there are people who are constantly checking the validity of new posts, editing or deleting, and then contacting (in the nicest possible way) the false reporter to make sure they have their facts straight. Apparently scholars doubt the information posted and are skeptical, but I believe they should join the wikipedia crew and share their knowledge with everyone to help make the online encyclopedia more credible. I did not know that original research is discouraged from being posted, which could lead to the fact that scholars are not so keen on posting. Furthermore, some scholars post and things they write get edited and chopped down, this could also make scholars dislike the process. It makes me wonder who the person is editing the posts and how they are expert in that field. The article stated that topics like science are more accurate than those about law and art. Science is all about facts, formulas, and numbers which can be hard to get wrong. I can see how it could be easy for posts to get messed up when they are covering areas that are lacking in cold, hard facts. The article does not make me want to stop using wikipedia, but it does make me think twice about using it in research and where the information is coming from and if it is all completely accurate. Furthermore, the ease of use and conciseness of the text make it extremely appealing to refer to when trying to find information...wikipedia makes the grade for me. (Word Count:329)

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