[Air-l] Wikipedia warning -- Wikipedia is not a reliable information source

Jeremy Hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Mon Dec 5 11:16:35 PST 2005


actually this is fairly easy to solve and is solved by all the  
current citing practices of online materials.  when one cites online  
materials, one is always supposed to give date and if appropriate  
time of access in the citation.  on wikipedia, you can then go to the  
history and find that particular version of the article, or if it has  
been moved to archive, you could request it.
On Dec 5, 2005, at 1:59 PM, Tom Erickson wrote:

> This has been a very interesting discussion. Nobody has mentioned
> what seems to me to be the biggest problem in using Wikipedia as a
> source: the fact that its articles are not stable. Since, obviously,
> articles can and do change over time, simply citing an article would
> seem insufficient, as the content may change.
>
> It is interesting that the Wikipedia's design does not make it easy
> to do a citation that will continue to point at the version actually
> used. If one clicks on the history tab (for "past versions of this
> page"), one sees the history list and can copy those URLs. And in
> fact, contrary to what the flyout text for the history tab suggests,
> the history page also contains a URL for the current page, so in fact
> one could cite the specific instance of the article with something
> that would presumably act like a permalink. It seems to me that, for
> courses where Wikipedia citations are permitted, that this might be a
> good discipline to follow, as it foregrounds the issue of the
> stability or lack thereof of knowledge.
>
> --Tom
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------
> Tom Erickson
> IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
> Email: snowfall at acm.org (preferred); snowfall at us.ibm.com(IBM  
> confidential)
> http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/
>
>
>
>
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Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
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