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Old 11-20-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Is Wikipedia a reliable source of information? I've heard it can be edited by anyone. Maybe Wikipedia is a good place to start but I would want the sources. Granted it is better than learning history from romantic novels What do others think?
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:36 PM
 
Location: In My Own Reality
1,461 posts, read 1,961,794 times
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Talking Heeeyyy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingearth View Post
Is Wikipedia a reliable source of information? I've heard it can be edited by anyone. Maybe Wikipedia is a good place to start but I would want the sources. Granted it is better than learning history from romantic novels What do others think?
Ouch! That hurt
Okay I get a lot of stuff from novels that have romance in them but many of those authors are historical scholars of a sort. Really!

As to Wikipedia, since is written by "we the people" I tend to take it with a grain of salt. But it is a great tool. I have often gotten info from there and then checked it out or followed up on it in other places.

I don't know if I would use it as my sole source of information.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:16 PM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,085,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoddessofRandomThoughts View Post
Ouch! That hurt
Okay I get a lot of stuff from novels that have romance in them but many of those authors are historical scholars of a sort. Really!

As to Wikipedia, since is written by "we the people" I tend to take it with a grain of salt. But it is a great tool. I have often gotten info from there and then checked it out or followed up on it in other places.

I don't know if I would use it as my sole source of information.
No offense meant Goddess of RT I wonder though if books and movies that romanticize history create new versions of history (including wikipedia.) Do people stop there and think that is what happened?

Like the books, movies using history make me wonder similar things--where the history comes from, how accurate, etc. I saw a show on PBS with a couple talking about what it would be like to live in the wild west times and the woman was saying she could be a saloon girl. I wondered if she had any clue. Totally romanticizing history. Now where's one of those novels--after taking Intro to Stats I'm ready for some light reading. Instead of doing homework, I'm reading CD and looking for a job or internship in history and wishing I could read some of these history books waiting until I am finished with college.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,986,443 times
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Overall credible with a grain if salt for most topics other than religion/politics.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,039,938 times
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Here's my opinion, as an information professional (reference librarian)... like the others said, it can be reliable, but should always be taken with a grain of salt. Look for articles that are heavily referenced/cited, and make sure to actually read the references. For instance, if they quote FOX News or Jon Stewart, keep the possible bias in mind - sources like medical journals, universities, government agencies, etc., are a good indication that you can trust the information. I often use Wikipedia for personal stuff, like looking up a celebrity's biography, gathering a list of "top cities," etc. But to give you an idea of its professional "iffiness," my graduate school (library science) professors did NOT accept it as a source - maybe if we backed it up with a known source, but it was sure to get an eye-roll.

P.S. To give another example of why you should be wary, my father (who isn't really famous) has a biography on there... and I don't even know who wrote it! But I do know my brother edited it once, to correct some false information.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:04 AM
 
2,482 posts, read 8,048,237 times
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I think overall wikipedia will be more accurate than most reference sources when it is unrelated to politics and/or religion. Why? Because after a printed encyclopedia is printed, it is set in stone and that information is never-changing (until the next edition). It doesn't take into account new information happening every minute, every hour. The inaccuracies from the encyclopedia itself (and there are always plenty) don't get corrected and instead get passed on. This is not true with Wikipedia. Sure, it might have some grossly incorrect information for a while but someone coming upon the topic that can detect the inaccuracies will change the information to make it more accurate, as in the case of Gizmo's father. Had it been an encyclopedia, that incorrected information would have been embedded and repeated and passed on many times before people catch on that it was faulty.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,773 posts, read 12,322,698 times
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That's a very good point. A day rarely goes by without my using the site.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: In My Own Reality
1,461 posts, read 1,961,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingearth View Post
No offense meant Goddess of RT I wonder though if books and movies that romanticize history create new versions of history (including wikipedia.) Do people stop there and think that is what happened?
Like the books, movies using history make me wonder similar things--where the history comes from, how accurate, etc. I saw a show on PBS with a couple talking about what it would be like to live in the wild west times and the woman was saying she could be a saloon girl. I wondered if she had any clue. Totally romanticizing history. Now where's one of those novels--after taking Intro to Stats I'm ready for some light reading. Instead of doing homework, I'm reading CD and looking for a job or internship in history and wishing I could read some of these history books waiting until I am finished with college.
No offense taken DancingEarth. Just kidding earlier

Unfortunately, I am sure that many folks, myself included, tend to romantacize history and specific historical periods. But that's the way it usually is with the past, don't you think? Things just tend to look a little better.

BTW, I am a Wiki Junkie! I love to see if they have a subject, person, place or thing listed.

SmerkyGrl, great point about Wiki!
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Stockton, CA, USA
69 posts, read 252,319 times
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The good news is Wikipedia is a constantly, constantly updated source of information. The bad news is anyone who signs up for the site can edit the information, for better or worse.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,681 posts, read 13,166,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancingearth View Post
Is Wikipedia a reliable source of information? I've heard it can be edited by anyone.
Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. Anybody sitting at home in their pajamas can post anything they want on Wikipedia. And much of it is probably copied from other websites. Check out the Encyclopedia Brittannica online at Brittannica.com - The Best Encyclopedia Resources and Information. This website is for sale!. The Brittannica is put together by REAL scholars and editors.
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