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Registered_Trademark
Posts: 67
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11/5/2009 10:18:39 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
So on this site I have been reading some odd statements like:

"I would not normally cite wikipedia as a completely credible source, but seeing as debate.org itself cites wikipedia as reliable"

Since when did Wikipedia become an unreliable source, recent studies have shown Wikipedia to be reliable as Encyclopedia Britannica.

http://news.cnet.com...
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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11/5/2009 12:16:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Wikipedia is considered unreliable by most simply by virtue of the ability of any individual to edit information, as well as what is not only on the Wiki page, but what isn't. I'm also sure that most academic forums do not allow Wikipedia as a valid source.

Wikipedia, like any encyclopedia, should be used as a summary about a subject - not the direct source. Usually, because encyclopedias source their work, it is OK to simply say, "look here at this encyclopedia page." But Wikipedia is different; if you're going to use it, then instead of just linking the page, link the specific sources used in the summary. That way, you can use Wikipedia, without making it the backer of the legitimacy of your argument.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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11/5/2009 1:07:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Many academics see Wikipedia as this place where anyone can edit anything. While this is true to an extent, on many of it's more popular articles, it has great moderation, is usually bias free, and pretty much every statement has a source to back it up. Some of it's more obscure article may have unproven statements (Which will ask for a verifiable source) but overall I would recommend using the References on the Wikipedia page rather than suffer the pain of the Wikipedia stigma.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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11/5/2009 9:24:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
But even more than that, I'd say, Wikipedia encourages intellectual laziness. Wikipedia rarely goes in depth, and you'll get much better information by looking at multiple independent sources and by checking out related books at your local library. I will admit that--if you have absolutely no clue about your subject--Wikipedia can often serve as a good starting place. But for anything vaguely academic, you have to go beyond WP.
Television Rot: http://tvrot.com...
Eris
Posts: 4
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11/5/2009 9:34:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/5/2009 9:24:08 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
But even more than that, I'd say, Wikipedia encourages intellectual laziness. Wikipedia rarely goes in depth, and you'll get much better information by looking at multiple independent sources and by checking out related books at your local library. I will admit that--if you have absolutely no clue about your subject--Wikipedia can often serve as a good starting place. But for anything vaguely academic, you have to go beyond WP.

I don't know if you've looked recently, but any of the Advanced Math or Physics sections are very much "academic" in their standards.
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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11/5/2009 9:37:20 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I once inserted the sentence "This is a test- if you are reading this sentence, immediately delete it" into the middle of a semi-popular page on wikipedia, and it took almost exactly 15 minutes for somebody to spot it and undo the action.

For personal use, it's a very effective educational tool which can be used to easily get broad info about almost any topic. Academically, though, I think it is a terrible idea to cite it for information.

Wikipedia is good for finding other credible sources, though, as in "external links" or "references" at the bottom of a page.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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11/5/2009 9:44:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/5/2009 9:34:09 PM, Eris wrote:

I don't know if you've looked recently, but any of the Advanced Math or Physics sections are very much "academic" in their standards.

Sure, but it is still a review, in essence a mini essay on a topic. There is a reason wiki holds standards in regards to referencing, because users acknowledge that the page isn't really suited to exploring specifics, just an overview. Compare it to say, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll soon recognise the differences in terms of scope and specificity that can be covered.

As a source in a debate, especially those that require a certain level of expertise, I wouldn't use it as primary, merely a 'this is what I am talking about' aid for the opposing person to know. Being a wiki page doesn't make it wrong, it's just often too many steps removed from more reliable sources. Say we debate a topic and you use wiki to *support* your position, it in essence means I have to find whatever reference is used to support whatever you are using in the wiki page to support to refute accurately and in this way it can almost be a cheat reference, since it's not guaranteed anyone can access that primary source and check it.
Eris
Posts: 4
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11/5/2009 10:00:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/5/2009 9:44:06 PM, Puck wrote:
At 11/5/2009 9:34:09 PM, Eris wrote:

I don't know if you've looked recently, but any of the Advanced Math or Physics sections are very much "academic" in their standards.

Sure, but it is still a review, in essence a mini essay on a topic. There is a reason wiki holds standards in regards to referencing, because users acknowledge that the page isn't really suited to exploring specifics, just an overview. Compare it to say, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll soon recognise the differences in terms of scope and specificity that can be covered.

As a source in a debate, especially those that require a certain level of expertise, I wouldn't use it as primary, merely a 'this is what I am talking about' aid for the opposing person to know. Being a wiki page doesn't make it wrong, it's just often too many steps removed from more reliable sources. Say we debate a topic and you use wiki to *support* your position, it in essence means I have to find whatever reference is used to support whatever you are using in the wiki page to support to refute accurately and in this way it can almost be a cheat reference, since it's not guaranteed anyone can access that primary source and check it.

Here's one example: http://en.wikipedia.org.... I doubt that one would call this a mini-essay on the Navier-Stokes equation - one of the most fundamental in fluid dynamics. And furthermore, if your at all familiar with other attempts at explaining it, you might recognize that this a rather concise but accurate representation. Your characterization that Wikipedia is universally sub-standard is uncalled for and a little elitist.
Eris
Posts: 4
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11/5/2009 10:01:12 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/5/2009 10:00:04 PM, Eris wrote:
At 11/5/2009 9:44:06 PM, Puck wrote:
At 11/5/2009 9:34:09 PM, Eris wrote:

I don't know if you've looked recently, but any of the Advanced Math or Physics sections are very much "academic" in their standards.

Sure, but it is still a review, in essence a mini essay on a topic. There is a reason wiki holds standards in regards to referencing, because users acknowledge that the page isn't really suited to exploring specifics, just an overview. Compare it to say, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll soon recognise the differences in terms of scope and specificity that can be covered.

As a source in a debate, especially those that require a certain level of expertise, I wouldn't use it as primary, merely a 'this is what I am talking about' aid for the opposing person to know. Being a wiki page doesn't make it wrong, it's just often too many steps removed from more reliable sources. Say we debate a topic and you use wiki to *support* your position, it in essence means I have to find whatever reference is used to support whatever you are using in the wiki page to support to refute accurately and in this way it can almost be a cheat reference, since it's not guaranteed anyone can access that primary source and check it.

Here's one example: http://en.wikipedia.org.... I doubt that one would call this a mini-essay on the Navier-Stokes equation - one of the most fundamental in fluid dynamics. And furthermore, if your at all familiar with other attempts at explaining it, you might recognize that this a rather concise but accurate representation. Your characterization that Wikipedia is universally sub-standard is uncalled for and a little elitist.

Link broke sorry:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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11/5/2009 10:26:27 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/5/2009 10:02:08 PM, Eris wrote:
Today is just not my day with links. Just search Navier-Stokes if your interested in looking at it.

I didn't state that it was substandard, just that it's not best at representing the full scope on a lot of things. I didn't state it was wrong, I didn't state it couldn't be succinct, and many topics don't need a lot of verbage. If a topic can be adequately represented in a page, great, that doesn't change at all the nature of how that page is constructed.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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11/5/2009 10:34:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
And the fact that I can easily find additional coverage of that topic, not in wiki http://universe-review.ca... simply makes my point. :P

If I wanted succinct 'this is' that's what wiki is for, if I wanted to know a lot more, it aint the way to go. That's all.
sherlockmethod
Posts: 317
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11/7/2009 12:24:29 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
I use wiki for mundane items. If I have to reference some commonly known scientific principle, then I will link the wiki, or if I need to show the years a President was in office or something like that. I do not reference any encyclopedia in academic writings, but try to use the best source. If I want to show the years Reagan was in office, I will not link to archival documents; I will use the wiki. The site does well in many respects and provides some great sources. I commonly use book sources which my opponent cannot reference without going to the library so I try to use wiki or net sources when I can.
Library cards: Stopping stupid one book at a time.