Is Wikipedia really that Wicked?

For as long as I have been aware of Wikipedia, I have been telling students not to use it as a reference, mainly because as researchers we do not know who has written the information. I have generally told students to use the references at the bottom of the page. Sometimes if it is a new concept I will say, read the Wikipedia definition to understand the concept and then find a better reference.

After reading the information in the chapter “New Models of Information Production” (Saulles,2012) about the comparison between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica’s science-based entries which concluded that there was little to choose from between them in terms of accuracy, my opinion of Wikipedia is not so clear cut. There is still a lot of merit in finding the original source with a named author. Maybe  though Wikipedia is not as bad as I am making it out to be, as Berinstein(2006) said ...the kid’s alright and so is the old man (Britannica.)


Berinstein, P. (2006, March). Wikipedia and Brittanica ( The kid’s alright and so is the old man). Retrieved Marc 19, 2014, from Information Today, Inc.:

Saulles, M. D. (2012). New models of information production. In M. D. Saulles, Information 2.0: new models of information production, distribution and cosumption (pp. pp. 13-35). London: Facet.

New Models of Information Production

It has become so easy for all to replicate and share information because of the ever increasing tools on the internet designed to let you  create content quickly and easy.

There are also many “experts”, particularly in the blogging arena to share their great tips.  Posts like ‘101 ideas that will make your blog HOT” really help blogging seem like something everyone can do.

The economics of the paper versus digital argument is interesting. I think people will still pay sometimes for quality and also for the feeling of accessing information and files legally when needed. I have experienced many surprised reactions from students when they are told that electronic books aren’t usually free and also when explaining that there isn’t an endless amount of digital books in our Digital Library because we actually have to buy each title seperately.

I agree that there is room for both free and paid content on the net. For the benefit of quality control we need a bit of both.


Wallager, M. (November, 2013). 101 Blog Post ideas that will make your blog hot. Retrieved March 19, 2014, from Start Blogging Online: