Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information?

Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information?

Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information? Management 521 July 25, 2011 Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information? Abstract Team A debated on whether Wikipedia is a credible and valid source of information. The team was divided into two groups, one side for and one side against. Among the five team members only one (the author) sided for Wikipedia as a credible and valid source. The debate lasted for seven days. Great points were raised by each team members to prove what they sided for. Is Wikipedia a credible and valid source of information?

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Wikipedia is an online source of information; it is the counterpart of Britannica in the modern computer world. “Wikipedia is about as good a source of accurate information as Britannica, the venerable standard-bearer of facts about the world around us,” according to the study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica by Daniel Terdiman. The modern computer world brought major changes around us; it introduced a modern way of doing research through the evolution of Wikipedia. “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us.

The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain” (Stevenson Jr. , 1900-1965). “Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, but it is not helpful in many ways. It is uncomfortable to use as source of information for both academic and professional writing because of the fact that anybody with access to the internet can edit its contents. Worse more, the Wikipedia does not only allow individuals to edit its pages, but also allows them even to remain anonymous. It is impossible to validate the information from a source that is not known.

Such a submission model is what mainly renders the information from the Wikipedia inaccurate, and difficult to verify as well as frowned upon in academic writing,” (Kan, Team A Debate). Singh agreed with Kan’s perception and stated that anonymous reference is useless when looking for authenticity of the source. According to her even Wikipedia can’t spend enough time to validate the contents they have posted. She searched for “Electronic Medical Record”, it shows “This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards” at the top of the article.

After reading that comment she was not sure if she would like to spend time reading the rest of the article or move on to some other online source. According to Singh, Wikipedia shows reference links to so many other sources and is it so hard to check all the references to validate the information. Lewis found Wikipedia helpful sometimes when she’s looking for general information, however when it comes to her using it as a creditable source of information she has a problem because she knows that anyone can submit information to put on the site.

Kan’s thinks that any article that would require cleanup already shows that the information is not accurate and cannot be relied upon. Based on his own experience on several occasions, he clicked on the links of the work cited on the Wikipedia to verify the information on a particular topic, but have ended up getting some conflicting info. He thinks that could be an error made by an individual who had edited the page. Credibility is very important, and the absence of it renders any information useless no matter how well articulated is the article. He strongly believed that Wikipedia contains many references which he felt is time consuming.

The author agrees with with Kan, Sin, and Lew, Wikipedia provides general information but whether the information is credible and valid is a big question. The author’s information is not always provided and it takes a long time to validate the source because it leads you to so many links and sometimes clicking on those links will lead you to more links and next thing you know the original information you are searching for totally disappeared. There are times you will get lucky and find information provided with authors but whether the information was altered by another person is a different story.

According to Wil, Wikipedia can be a valid source of information but a researcher must, as in all sources of data, QC the information being provided. He thinks facts posted on Wikipedia have a reference listed so you can follow up on the source. If the information doesn’t list a source that he can track down, then he will not use it for his work. And he believes that this must be a standard operating procedure for a student when writing a paper. Wilcox clearly stated that he was not saying Wikipedia is the definitive pool of researchable information, but it can definitely serve to help a researcher get leads for a project.

He suggested researcher needs to follow up with the references to ensure valid data. The fact that anyone can edit the information in Wikipedia makes the information unstable and lessens the validity of the information. It may benefit researcher by providing more information and leads to the topic of his interest but may also cause false information. The uncontrolled environment of Wikipedia opens the door for vandalism. To find out whether the information was altered is a challenge. Wikipedia is a collaboration of informative materials from various sources. Due to Wikipedia’s open nature it encourages analysis from different authors.

It creates a discussion of ideas from different perceptions, thus gives an Impartial Presentation. Like any other resources Wikipedia may present information with errors but it can be corrected immediately, faster than what it takes for other written publication. People can update information as the world change, thus present state of the art information (Currency), which is a common factor for validity of information. When it comes to Style and Tone, it varies depending on the nature of the topic and the readers, a worldwide presentation of information in multiple languages from all folks of life.

Wikipedia’s informations are more peer reviewed, which means contents are reviewed by authors who are experts on the subject (Credibility). Conclusion Credentials, impartiality, style and tone, and currency are criteria in evaluating the credibility and validity of any source. Wikipedia meets all these criteria, which makes it as a valid source of information. References Stevenson, A. E. Jr. (1900-1965). Speech at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 8, 1952. Terdiman, D. Staff Writer, CNET News.


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