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Is Wikipedia a Reliable Source for Student Research or Assignment?
"Is Wikipedia a Reliable Source for Student Research or Assignment" discuss should Wikipedia use in academic purpose or not.
Wikipedia is a multilingual encyclopaedia which has free content available and is accessible from anywhere as it is web based. Wikipedia is created by collating articles from anonymous volunteers who write internet articles and help to build a knowledge base. Anyone can contribute to this huge encyclopaedia and his or her work would be publicly available to others. The sources or references are mentioned at the end of the article where more related information can be accessed.
This information available can be verified by anyone from the references given at the bottom and hence can be trusted to be authentic. Students around the globe use Wikipedia as a source for enhancing their knowledge about any topic, but it is still not decided that Wikipedia as a source of information can be accepted or not.
Should Wikipedia be used as a source for Academic purposes?
I my opinion, Wikipedia should not be used as a source for academic purpose (academic assignment writing, case study or research)and can only be referred by student to get a bird eye’s view or basic knowledge of the subject they are trying to research about. Wikipedia articles can be written or modified by anybody, who may or may not have the correct perspective about the topic under study and using this article as a base can also influence the thought process of the writer in the same direction.
Articles which are written on Wikipedia have references which can be used to read more about any topic and those articles which are published through an authentic source can be used as reference. Thus, Wikipedia can provide a large number of relevant sources which are tagged with the Wikipedia articles. Thus, Wikipedia can be used for academic purpose but only for directing the student to the correct references if possible but cannot serve as a source itself.
Wikipedia also has place for incorporating comments from people who browse the articles and in many cases it can be seen that some other person would have completely opposite view on the article than the writer whose article is published by Wikipedia. These comments on articles most of the times do not have any reference marked which makes the reader wonder about the authenticity of these comments as they cannot be backed with facts if references are not provided. But in some other cases, the facts can be verified for the counter argument also and thus the Wikipedia article is only a perspective of the writer depending on how he or she looks at the situation, scenario or at the topic.
Thus, Wikipedia should not be used as a source for academic or collegiate research assay.
Wikipedia articles most of the times have more than enough sources mentioned in the reference list that would suffice to prove their authenticity. All the sources mentioned are either from books, articles or journals published by well-known publication houses. The references mentioned can be accessed also from the Wikipedia page which gives even more clarity on the content mentioned in the Wikipedia article, which actually is a very condensed form or summary of the inferences from all the sources mentioned in the reference list.
Wikipedia provides all the information required on any topic in a condensed form at a single place with proper sources mentioned and accessible from the same page. Each fact is supported by a reference marked within the article and also at the end. Not only facts but any event mentioned can be sourced separately as links are provided for the same (of other Wikipedia pages) with the event name itself or with the company name, person name, etc.
Thus, Wikipedia can be an authentic source of information, but this greatly depends on the sources used and mentioned in the reference list.
Wikipedia is a great source of information which can be accessed by anyone who has internet connectivity. This source has article on any topic possible and is rightly working as an encyclopaedia. The issue with making this an academically accepted source of reference is that the content can be written by anyone. It does not work on a closed environment where only specialists of a field only comment or write for the related topics. Anyone can write an article on Wikipedia and then people can debate about its content providing valid references for both sides of the coin.
Thus, since every article on Wikipedia cannot be completely acceptable as an authentic source of information, thus, none of the articles from Wikipedia can be considered as academic sources for referencing purpose.
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