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Wikipedia - valid source ?

Is Wikipedia really accurate and trustworthy

  • YES its information is as accurate as possible

    Votes: 16 50.0%
  • NO it is a site easily falsified by its open access

    Votes: 16 50.0%

  • Total voters
    32

DeeJayH

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Is Wikipedia really a source to be trusted?

it is my understanding that like the OS linux anybody can tweak it with their own input?
is there review of all the changes added?
is there standards to which information added to it must pass?
or is this just the biggest opinion website in the world?
 

GarzaUK

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In terms of entertainment news, it is not reliable. I don't know about politically. Historically it is pretty on the money. I don't think wikipedia is biased if that's what your getting at.
 

DeeJayH

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GarzaUK said:
In terms of entertainment news, it is not reliable. I don't know about politically. Historically it is pretty on the money. I don't think wikipedia is biased if that's what your getting at.

the news story (heard on tv or radio, which is why there is no link) that made me post this stated that
politicians have staffers monitoring Wikipedia because of people altering information about candidates.
and if politicos are doing that, why wouldn't one think millions of people are maliciously entering information for their own amusement
 

Willoughby

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I saw a recent article in the Independent (british newspaper) which had people at the top of their fields review wikipedia articles on subjects within their field. The poet laurette reviewed the entry the philip larkin entry, Dr Robert Winston reviewed the IVF entry, Anne Widdicombe reviewed the entry on herself etc and they all came out surprisingly favourable....
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Wikipedia's as good as any other encyclopedia-- the only difference is where oversight applies and how it is applied.

In a normal encyclopedia, qualified experts write articles on topics which are vetted by the encyclopedia staff. Once someone has gotten accepted as "qualified", it is very difficult to fact-check them.

In Wikipedia, the "experts" are self-selected, but their facts are under constant oversight as people run across the articles in their searches or interested parties review articles in their spheres of knowledge.

I trust Wikipedia further, because I can access the community of writers responsible for the material.
 

Kandahar

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It's accurate enough if you're just looking for some quick information on a subject, but it is not nearly as reliable as other encyclopedias. Because anyone can edit it, people can (and do) write things that are false, biased, or stupid. If they're blatant, the problem is usually corrected within a few hours...but that's still a fairly large time window when the article is incorrect. More subtle errors may go unnoticed permanently, until another viewer points them out.
 

Spartacus FPV

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I think its a good resource because its peer reviewed, but if you try to use it as a research source you may get laughed at, I know my business cornerstone professor did.
 
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I agree that it's a valid enough source, if you're just informally looking for something. When I'm looking for info on a topic and I think it'll be in there, I usually check wikipedia before hitting the search engines. Much more concise, and the links provided are often better than the muck yahoo pulls up. Never used it for writing a paper or anything like that, but I'd imagine it'll point you in the right direction if you need a more formal source.
 

jamesrage

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DeeJayH said:
Is Wikipedia really a source to be trusted?

it is my understanding that like the OS linux anybody can tweak it with their own input?
is there review of all the changes added?
is there standards to which information added to it must pass?
or is this just the biggest opinion website in the world?


I think most of the time it is a good source of information.If there are doubts of a article in Wikipedia then google it.
 

BubbaBob

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Typically, it is a good source for non=controversial information like who wrote a certain book, the definition of "genetic code", or where and why did the Anatolian Shepherd dog breed originate.

When you get into "debatable" topics though, like a politician's biography, or global warming, the reliability drops like a stone. Wikipedia is EASILY edited by ANYONE with internet access. There have been quite a few documented cases of a politicians information being "enhanced" by a staffer, and, conversely, having false and detrimental information added by an opponent.

Wikipedia claims that it trys to vett all outside edits, but the operative word here is "trys". Given the amount of information available for corruption, and the number of users, "try" is about all they can do, and that poorly.

When I was looking for a livestock guard dog, I used Wikipedia for some of the research to find the most appropriate breed for my situation. Were I to want info on Bush, Clinton, Rove, Pelosi, etc., Wikipedia wouldn't even enter my mind as a possible source.

BubbaBob
 
F

FallingPianos

DeeJayH said:
Is Wikipedia really a source to be trusted?

it is my understanding that like the OS linux anybody can tweak it with their own input?
is there review of all the changes added?
is there standards to which information added to it must pass?
or is this just the biggest opinion website in the world?

I would never use it for an academic paper, but for online debating, or personal education its fine. i've always found the content to be accurate.
 

Medussa

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In regards to this, I went for the Afrikaans version as it is available. There were complaints that the Afrikaner history was not correct, there is a lack of information on our presidents. People state that our history is not neutrally portrayed, people swing it to their own leftist or rightist opinions and write accordingly. There was also an issue raised between the difference of the Afrikaans, English and French version of our history.

For those who understand Dutch or Afrikaans can read it under: 32 Meer oor Afrikaner geskiedenis? (More about Afrikaner history?). Not sure if you have to be logged in to view it... let's hope not

http://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Geselshoekie#Presidente_van_Suid_Afrika
 

RightinNYC

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star2589 said:
I would never use it for an academic paper, but for online debating, or personal education its fine. i've always found the content to be accurate.


exactly my thoughts.

its fantastic to get basic info about ANYTHING, but no good as a quoted source.
 

Hoot

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Truth can be found to be at risk among the pages of Wikipedia.

Do some searches on Wikipedia lies or distortions.

Just to my left, I have an excellent set of encyclopdias on the bookcase.

Why in the world would I use something like Wikipedia that hasn't proven trustworthy?

We all know computers can be hacked. You think the pages of Wikipedia are safe?

Bottom line...Wikipedia should never be the only source for research.
 

MrFungus420

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It looks like I agree with the majority on this. It is a decent source for basic information, it is very convenient and easy to use It's a good starting point, but I recommend backing it up with something else.
 

Kandahar

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SouthernDemocrat said:
According to a recent study, it is as accurate as Encyclopida Britanica.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4530930.stm

On science, yes, it is fairly accurate. They do a pretty good job of keeping the religious fundamentalist nuts out of the debate.

But on more controversial subjects - politics, religion, history, etc. - there are a LOT of inaccuracies and biases.
 

Latisha1903

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Just as with any reference source you should always have two or more to support one another. To be accurate one would always be sure to apply more than one souce for information.

I think Wiki is a valid source. I use it religiously.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Kandahar said:
On science, yes, it is fairly accurate. They do a pretty good job of keeping the religious fundamentalist nuts out of the debate.

But on more controversial subjects - politics, religion, history, etc. - there are a LOT of inaccuracies and biases.

Yes, but 99% of the time, with controversial subjects, they will have sections presenting both sides of an issue, or indicate that a claim has been disputed. I think all and all, Wikipedia is one of the most reliable sources information on most anything on the net.
 

Euro_wisdom

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On a personal level, I think it is a source to be trusted, most of the time. I use it a lot for Historical or even political reference and the information always seemed to be accurate.
However, I heard several times that some articles were not up to date and not fully accurate. But I don't think it is a biased source.
 

The Mark

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I've not used it much, but from what I have seen, it does seem to be fairly accurate.

Maybe a little inaccurate in regards to political things, but since it is able to be edited by people, conflicting views in most cases would all be displayed. That way, you get all the info, and can decide which arguement makes the most sense to you. Or which parts of all the arguements you want to combine into your own arguement.
 

Gibberish

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Kandahar said:
But on more controversial subjects - politics, religion, history, etc. - there are a LOT of inaccuracies and biases.

That can be said for encyclopedia books as well. The good part about Wikipedia is that it usually offers both sides of an argument. Even if one of the two sides happens to be written in a bias way at least it acknowledges that there are two sides, unlike many encyclopedias.

The majority of Wikipedia I have read has been truthful and unbiased, specifically on religion topics.
 
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