College Students Use, Love, Are Aware Of The Limitations Of Wikipedia

How Today’s College Students Use Wikipedia For Course-Related Research: Overall, college students use Wikipedia. But, they do so knowing its limitation. They use Wikipedia just as most of us do — because it is a quick way to get started and it has some, but not deep, credibility. 52% of respondents use Wikipedia frequently or […] » about 200 words

Where Do They Find The Time?

Clay Shirky recently posted (wayback) a transcript of his Web 2.0 Expo keynote. …If you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project — every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in — that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million […] » about 500 words

Wikipedia The Wonder

Middlebury College banned it, but 46% of college students and 50% of college grads use it.

Twelve year olds point out errors in its competition, while those over 50 are among its smallest demographic — just 29% (Just! 29%!) say they’ve used it.

It’s Wikipedia, of course, and the numbers come from a recent Pew Internet Project memo reporting that Wikipedia is used by 36% of the online population and is one of the top ten destinations on the web.

Please, Not Another Wiki

Ironic secret: I don’t really like most wikis, though that’s probably putting it too strongly. Ironic because I love both Wikipedia (and, especially, collabularies), but I grit my teeth pretty much every time I hear somebody suggest we need another wiki. Putting it tersely: if wikis are so great, why do we need more than […] » about 500 words

Middlebury College vs. Wikipedia

Middlebury College is proud to have taken a stand against Wikipedia this year:

Members of the Vermont institution’s history department voted unanimously in January to adopt the statement, which bans students from citing the open-source encyclopedia in essays and examinations.

Without entirely dismissing Wikipedia — “whereas Wikipedia is extraordinarily convenient and, for some general purposes, extremely useful…” — the decision paints it with a broad brush — “as educators, we are in the business of reducing the dissemination of misinformation.” (Though a site search reveals it’s frequently cited there.)

Chandler Koglmeier’s op-ed response in the student newspaper, however, was rather pointed:

[Professor Waters’ states that] “the articles can improve over time, but there’s always an [emphasis on] change rather than something finalized.” I wasn’t aware that knowledge was a static thing. […] I think you should talk to our nation’s medical schools. They seem to have advanced beyond the world of Hippocrates and the Greek doctors in the past few years and might be teaching something that is dangerous.

Intrigue, indeed. My question is how will Middlebury students be taught to evaluate their information sources after they leave college? Who will tell them what to trust then?

The Onion Greets Wikimania

Wikimania is about to start, but here, the ever-topical Onion folk are poking fun at Wikipedia. What is there to say when “America’s finest news source” casts aspersions on the world’s newest encyclopedia with the headline Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence? Extra: watch out for Meredith Farkas‘ panel presentation on wikis and enabling […] » about 100 words

Looking At Controversy Through The Eyes Of Britannica and Wikipedia

The argument about Wikipedia versus Britannica continues to rage in libraryland. The questions are about authority and the likelihood of outright deception, of course, and a recent round brought up the limitations of peer review as exemplified in the 1989 cold fusion controversy, where two scientists claimed to have achieved a nuclear fusion reaction at […] » about 700 words