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Evaluating Sources: Assessing Wikipedia


Wikiality: "When Wikipedia becomes our most trusted reference source, reality is just what the majority agrees upon." - Stephen Colbert, satirist (2007)

Why can't I cite Wikipedia in my paper?

There are several reasons why you should not (and usually cannot) cite Wikipedia.

For starters, according to their site "Wikipedia is not considered a credible source."



Does Wikipedia have a place in education? Yes...sort of.  



We advise special caution when using Wikipedia as a source for research projects. Normal academic usage of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias is for getting the general facts of a problem and to gather keywords, references and bibliographical pointers, but not as a source in itself. Remember that Wikipedia is a wiki, which means that anyone in the world can edit an article, deleting accurate information or adding false information, which the reader may not recognize.

For a humorous take on editing Wikipedia entries, please see the Colbert Report clip on the topic.

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