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Saturday, February 13, 2010

My opinion of how and when Wikipedia can be a trusted source of information.

I was surprised with the information I had learned about Wikipedia. I was always under the impression that this was like an Encyclopedia Britannica website where the information is factual. I must say, this solves the question that has always nagged at me about Wikipedia. It has always amazed me that I have never, and can really say never, except for a people search, have not pulled up a Wikipedia link for any topic I have searched on the internet. This certainly supports the fact that it is necessary to know the validity of the information we see. Shame on me for being so naive!

Virgil Griffin designed a great tool. I equate it to Fact Check which was used to verify the facts in Presidential campaign articles and speeches. It let me decide if the facts presented were valid and also illustrated the integrity and quaifications of the candidates,. Running an edit scan on the article I am accessing in Wikipedia would allow me to make my own decision as to whether or not to site it as a resource. Also, in defense of my decision, I could provide that information in the bibliography of a paper or presentation.

I can still see Wikipedia as valuable. I can almost be assured I can most always find the topic. If I were to cross reference the Wikipedia listing with another source, the facts could be confirmed. Wikipedia would provide some direction.


  1. Well, the Britannica may claim to be factual. But EVERY source has its biases. And the Britannica is likely not to have the latest information in a fast changing field. And the Britannica is edited for consistency, so you will rarely find a multitude of opinions and approaches as you are more likely to do in Wikipedia. So be cautious about EVERY source. Eve I am known to have certain biases and blind spots. I know you will find that hard to believe! But it is true. There I am, claiming to have the truth again!

    Just keep your eyes open and your brain on - for all sources! Even your mother and father and yes, even your children!

  2. The only source that doesn't need to be checked is me ;). (Of course, I have been known to lie.) It is always good to check sources but ultimately we can't independently corroborate each piece of information.

  3. In my eyes, Wikipedia can be used to guide you to the most factual source. It gives you some idea of factual information, however it may not be all true.