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Encyclopedias now virtually 'worthless' as Wikipedia celebrates 16th anniversary: Are online encyclopedias reliable?

  • Yes, it is reliable

    Researchers looked at a wikipedia article and a physical encyclopedia article for a given topic and most often chose the wikipedia article as the better one. The only area where wikipedia starts being not reliable is pop culture. Article on Time magazine website as source. There are also citations on Wikipedia. Citation needed means be weary, but you can always look at the citations.

  • Yes, they are

    Wikipedia is one example of an online encyclopedia. Yes, it is open source, that is great, but not so great in the sense that anyone can change it and the article may not be edited for years. Online encyclopedias are more easily accessed. Some sources will be outdated because the body of human knowledge doubles every year. Britannica is a good example of an online encyclopedia that is trustworthy. They keep the articles up to date and maintain that the correct information is there.

  • Much easier and compact.

    You can access online encyclopedias easily and you don't have to pick up a heavy book from a library just to search up one fact. While many question the reliability of Wikipedia, studies did show that it is just as reliable as other encyclopedias, and when someone does try to edit something incorrect, it is fixed very quickly.

  • Online encyclopedias are reliable

    While printed encyclopedias may be considered worthless, online encyclopedias are very reliable. Since they merely represent the printed publication they are an and useful resource for students at any academic level to use as they pursue their studies. Encyclopedias will always be with us, But who knows what form is week traverse down deep technological highway.

  • Only Verified Articles Have Any Merit

    Wikipedia allows for anyone, no matter what their opinions or education on the topic, to write whatever they prefer on any page. There are certain pages however that are peer-reviewed and thus reliable in my opinion. Besides that, I think they can't be counted on as the last word in the information they provide,
    Online encyclopedias can be very important for providing background knowledge or a collection of sources to start research on a topic but, just like a real encyclopedia, I don't believe they offer enough substance by themselves to really leave a person with a full understanding of a topic. Checking information is also important with any source that you use and I feel like it's especially relevant with Wikipedia articles. Pages can be reliable but there is always the chance that they are not. Because of that chance, I have to vote no: they are not reliable.

  • A lot of articles are biased.

    Traditional encyclopedias will always retain their position as the ultimate source of facts. Wikipedia is great and I use it regularly. However, I've come across articles that are biased and I've seen others that don't quote too many sources. I've also heard about the editing wars that go on and all of these reasons combine to make me a bit wary of blindly trusting Wikipedia.

  • They have mistakes.

    There are examples of some very incorrect things that find their way into online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia. Most of the things on online encyclopedias are correct and trustworthy. But there are a few bad apples that are willing to jump in and post things that are untrue. For that reason, they're not copletely trustworthy.

  • Online encyclopedias are not always accurate.

    As many have seen, anyone can put anything on the Internet. The information is only as good as the person posting it. Wikipedia can be edited by almost anyone, so the information obtained from it has to be combined with other sources. Everyone should know by now that you can't draw conclusions from a single source on the Internet.


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