Wikipedians Do It for Love. Really.

I am personally leery of using Wikipedia as a source for some of my information needs. The thought that someone who quite possibly has  no more knowledge on the subject then I has edited it or created it scares me. The article Wikipedians Do It for Love. Really., dives into the success of Wikipedia.

I am not painting every Wikipedian with the same brush. I am sure there are very knowledgeable scholars on there who write beautiful articles that are brimming with great information that is correct and usable. I find my use of Wikipedia is for more mundane activities, like winning a bet or looking up some fact for celebrities or sports stats. But to use it for a scholarly endeavor is not agreeable to me. Truly, I find myself re-researching what the author has written to make sure it actually is fact. My main fear is what if the information is false. What if you rely on this a gospel truth. Will the professor deduct marks for wrong information? Can you actually use the excuse; “But that’s what it said on Wiki”!  I have heard horror stories where fake Wiki entries have been made. I personally would rather go to a more scholarly source for my information.  I would use it more if it was edited by experts in the topic rather than other Wikipedians. In the end, it all comes down to trust. Do I trust what is being written down? Am I willing to use it?

For me, the distrust on the facts outweighs the information easily available. Until there is a fool proof way of providing evidence that what is written is accurate, I will use other sources for my college work.



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