How Does Wikipedia Work?


Wikipedia is based on the principles of democratizing information, where anyone can edit a page at any time. But, like many other aspects of democracy, certain individuals are needed to "validate" or check the entries posted Wikipedia. Contrary to popular belief, while anyone can edit the page, false edits or edits that don't live up to the standards that wikipedia sets out in its basic principles, are removed from the page rather quickly.


Is it reliable?


A study by the British magazine Nature conducted in December of 2005 proved that Wikipedia was no more innacurate than Brittannica on science-related topics. While Brittannica fiercely refutes this, Nature sticks by their methodolgy.


Where the value lies...


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To avoid this, and to avoid having teachers negate research done using Wikipedia, here is your solution: use the end of an entry to find your list of sources. Each entry in Wikipedia is required to cite extensive sources about the topic.
Here you can see that at the end of this entry on Mark Zuckerberg the authors of the article provide links to primary, seondary, and online resources from which they pulled their information. THIS IS REALLY VALUABLE STUFF, especially if your teacher has instituted a no-wikipedia policy.

So the new rule is DON'T END YOUR RESEARCH WITH WIKIPEDIA, BUT START WITH IT.











"Wikipedia Study "Fatally Flawed"." BBC News BBC News/Technology. 24 06 2006: September 13, 2007 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4840340.stm>.