Week 4: Web Creditability – Question 2

Question 2:

While there are many places on the web that will provide you with credible and accurate resources, Wikipedia is not one of them. Never would you reference a Wikipedia page in anything academic as it is considered to be a completely unreliable source. Credible sources are usually defined as works that have been academically written by an expert in that subject then edited by other multiple experts in that field and then looked over by a group to make sure there is no bias (Yoshikiyo, 2008). Wikipedia has none of that.

This is because of the fact that users on Wikipedia can edit or change the information on the pages to anything they want to say. Wikipedia do have staff that go through and check to change any wrong details and misleading information, but although most errors are immediately fixed there are some that might be missed accidentally. It is written mostly by the public and so it is not necessarily a profession writing about a subject they’re an expert in. More likely it is written by something who has only limited knowledge on the topic.

Although Wikipedia pages themselves cannot be used as reliable academic information or a valid source reference the pages do, usually, include a reference section at the bottom. This section of the page is filled with links to real academic sources on the subject.

So although Wikipedia doesn’t count as reliable information for your work, it can be a stepping stone to push you along.

References:

Yoshikiyo, K. (2008). Information credibility on the web (Internet research, v. 18, no. 2). Bradford, England: Emerald.

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