Vermont College : Students may not cite Wikipedia as a source

20 comments

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) - Middlebury College history students are no longer allowed to use Wikipedia in preparing class papers.

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Founders Note:
Perhaps the stone age professors should not allow people to use computers either.. that way all the students are forced to use typewriters.

Comments

I agree with the man

OK for a starting point - but hardly an authority site ;)

Appears that the AP writer

Appears that the AP writer got the lead a bit mucked up.

Students are allowed to use it, just not as a citation. Sounds like a pretty fair policy.

2nd Result

I guess they are forcing the students to scroll to the 2nd result in Google.

>Students are allowed to use

>Students are allowed to use it, just not as a citation.

Seems fair to me, it really isn't a reliable source for citations. Hopefully this will stop the badwagon a bit, next we know people will be convicted in court based on wakipedia.

Oh wait.... Wikipedia behind a hundred US court rulings http://www.out-law.com/page-7712

the stone age professors

The stone age professors have it right. Even the backward, hillbilly, middle-school teachers of Tennessee tell their students not to cite Wikipedia.

Founder, why exactly do you think that's a bad policy?

Slippery Slope

It's not so much that wikipedia is great... I agree with you guys that it's virtually crap sometimes... many many times... but I think college students are smart enough to make their own decisions on what should be included or not.

If they want to say 'wikipedia said this' then they should back it up with another source... the point I am trying to make is that they should give these kids some leeway on figuring out what is crap and what isn't.

In a few years.. their professors won't be there to tell them what is good or bad.. and many of the articles on wikipedia are excellent... and some are garbage.

When they work for a company after they finish college.. they will have to fend and defend their positions when researching something... if they choose to follow wikipedia without another source.. then they will suffer the conquences (good or bad).

The policy should of been 'all wikipedia articles should be backed up with another source as well' .. rather than just outlawing it.

give these kids some leeway

these are the same kids that use The Daily Show as their primary source for world news...nuff said

Research?

Hopefully they're teaching their students that their research is incomplete if they are relying solely on text, no matter what the medium.

Not a sourse of academic authority

wikipedia is great if you are looking to do a quick scan on a particular topic, but I would not consider it to be a sourse of academic authority.

I object

I must object to this if college students aren't allowed to use wikipedia and have to do actual research that's less time they get to spend making drunken videos to upload to youtube

Wiki agrees

Wiki agrees

In many cases, wikipedia itself may not be a suitable citation for whatever your doing but high quality citations from wikipedia may very well be...

College Level Work

Back when I was in college we weren't allowed to cite encyclopedias either. You're supposed to go back to a primary source. Encyclopedias are compendiums of knowledge previously published elsewhere. What's the point of this story?

I guess I am in the minority on this

I guess I am in the minority on this :)

Heh

> for whatever your doing

That would be "for whatever you're doing" ...? :)

Wikipedia harvests...

Wikipedia harvests the collective knowledge and insanity of the masses. A bit like Sullivan's recent post on Diggers. I agree that it is a good starting point much like you might post a question on an internet forum and ask others for ideas/leads/etc. about a given subject.

Lol, remember Google Answers? Even when they sort of, kind of try, to have semi-certified and knowledgeable 'researchers'... the results were some times great. The results were sometimes high-fricking-larious in the lack of real understanding that 'researchers' brought to the table. A bit like Yahoo's free alternative ... take everything with a grain of salt. Wikipedia should not be taken used much differently.

While even paid, high highfalutin encyclopedia's get things wrong from time to time... They are keepers of very generalized and sanitized knowledge. If my college experience was anything like yours, encyclopedia were generally banned from use in term papers anyway. After all, they are a good source of inspiration, leads for ideas, what not, but lack any depth that books on the subject, scholarly articles from journals, autobiographies, translations of historic texts, etc. would give. And yes, there are even biases in these sources but as a more learned student, you should be able to pick out some of the biases based on comparative analysis of sources. Anyway, wikipedia good for general research/insight but probably not for authoritative reference in it's current state. If lawsuits are being won/loss by using it as a resource, it is likely because of the links, underlying information that the article presented and not the article itself, much like you might reference say a Time Magazine article that summarizes some study with out any depth but still go on to explore the actual study that Time referenced. Does this make sense?

Has anybody ever cited an encyclopedia?

If you ever cited an encyclopedia in a college paper, raise your hand.

>>Perhaps the stone age

>>Perhaps the stone age professors should not allow
>>people to use computers either.

Any old tool can add to Wiki, that does not make it a reliable source in anyway shape or form.

http://www.threadwatch.org/node/11203

Lots of fun editing going on during that, who's to say that did not occur on the rest of the entries..

Wiki is good as an overview, but you would be a fool to follow medical advice, count on something, or cite in a proper journal (or college paper). It might just warrant a mention in a bibliography though.

>>I guess they are forcing the students to scroll
>>to the 2nd result in Google.

How about getting down the library or using many of the professional journal search services. (ingenta, or academic sites.? Google can hardly be trusted, either, you have to read around at many sources, and as wiki any old tool can write anything they want, doesnt mean it is true.

>>> Any old tool can add to

>>> Any old tool can add to Wiki

Is that right, Dr Gimp? ROFLMAO

Seriously though, I wouldn't trust Wikipedia as an academic source. It's the online equivalent of "a fat bloke down the pub told me..."

>>Is that right, Dr Gimp?

>>Is that right, Dr Gimp? ROFLMAO

That's right :-)

Glad to see you using my proper title as well these days TT.

I always thought it was Dr

I always thought it was Dr Rock ? :)

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