In defense of Wikipedia as an information source

In defense of Wikipedia as an information source

One of the most visited websites around the world is Wikipedia. If you need to know something quickly and easily, it is the first site that you usually go; whether to settle a dispute with someone or to hear some general concept that you have no idea. But Wikipedia is a controversial site, because many doubt its accuracy; especially if you consider the way in which knowledge is constructed. However, I believe that, given its uses and limitations, Wikipedia can be a truthful, useful and reliable source.

One of the first things we just tread stressed classrooms University is that href=”” Wikipedia is not a reliable source and could never be used for any research. However, when I had to read history books of the dense and heavy philosophy, I discovered that Wikipedia was an excellent tool to help understand, because it presents concise and simple definitions complementing the reading and helped me grasp the concepts quickly. It is at this point that I became the devil’s advocate, because I defend the Wikipedia as a source of reliable, useful and necessary information. And, from my perspective, the problem which scholars reject their content is unknown precisely because the purpose and scope of this website , in addition to which many people can not use it to extract all the .? potential

Why they say that Wikipedia is unreliable

is superficial and inaccurate:

You’d take a soup with a fork? I imagine your answer is no, and that is precisely what the critics of Wikipedia when they say that is a superficial and inaccurate source. The fact that the holder is not a suitable tool to consume liquid, does not mean it is not useful, it is simply not made for this work, is another specialty.

Something similar happens with Wikipedia is a source href=”” tertiary , like encyclopedias and other publications. His articles are a compendium of secondary primary sources (documents, research, and other documents firsthand) and (criticism, commentary and analysis of primary sources ). Tertiary sources are usually short, superficial and general, but provide guidelines for further study, so it is ridiculous to try to directly quote the Wikipedia in an academic work, just as it is absurd to cite an encyclopedia in a study which usually it requires primary or secondary sources; but is ideal to begin an investigation because you can learn quickly and easily the generality of an issue to deal with other sources specific.


can be edited by anyone

From my perspective this is a double-edged sword. href=”” Wikipedia is the epitome of the democratization of knowledge , to the extent that it no longer rests with the intellectual elites transmitting knowledge, but anyone who meets the editing parameters (neutrality, citations to reliable sources, etc.) can edit or create an article; but it also left on the shoulders of the users weight control, edit, monitor and maintain the reliability of the information. This has worked better than you might think, as a team of users are always there in a few hours to fix any Wikipedia entry that has been vandalized or edited to display a biased point of view.

Even if it is true that the href=”” decline in number of users in charge these tasks has become the task of maintaining the integrity of Wikipedia in a titanic work, it is still possible to find more or less accurate information and with few errors. Indeed, there are href=”” comparative studies showing that Wikipedia provides as accurate information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Wikipedia is not perfect, but it’s a good start

Although, in my humble view, Wikipedia can be used as tertiary source of information to begin any investigation , regardless of whether academic or not, it is true that many of the articles (mostly in Spanish) are incomplete or contain errors. But this is solved in a very simple and logical: used other sources to corroborate information It is impossible to research Based on a single text (even a primary source), it is necessary to know other points. view, contrasting them to obtain a more or less complete what you need to know panorama.


This can read input Wikipedia corresponding to what you need, but do not stay only with what it says there. Check the references listed, citations and footnotes page . Search the key concepts and primary sources go to which they refer. The purpose of Wikipedia is not to become an expert, but give you a starting point; a general and superficial knowledge that you should deepen.

The secret to using Wikipedia as a professional is this: learn how the tool, what its scope and limitations, and from it, start working works To make use of any text is important form a critical apparatus , have the ability to discern between the information you have and identify what things can be mistakes and that is achieved in only one way: reading and contrasting information.

If your training allows you to have a precise knowledge about a topic, you might as well i ntegrarte the community of Wikipedia and make your contribution , editing some text Driving the field. Again: wonderful thing about this tool is that it is democratic and free , anyone can edit it, and if you are an expert in some field of knowledge all people can benefit from it


In defense of Wikipedia as an information source
Source: english  
July 30, 2015

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