While most people tend to argue that it isn't because of its open source nature, that is a terrible misconception. While you can alter articles, I've found that a lot, if not ALL official articles cannot be altered at all except through the author. That being said, I'm not 100% sure who is able to make said articles official, but if you know what you're doing when researching in the first place, any article can be taken with a grain of salt, given that anyone can crap out a fake article, or even book, at anytime. I think this is best left to the discretion of the researcher.
Yes it is a great tool, quite vast in the sense of covered areas of knowledge and translated to many languages. Nevertheless, the facts there can be mistaken at times, and this can influence the results of your quest for information. In this sense, you got to have intellectual maturity to know what to believe and what to search in other sources.
Wikipedia is a great and very convenient source for information. That being said, it shouldn't be used as references to college papers or PhD thesis'. It's fine for low level reports and basic reference. I've never seen anyone maliciously put wrong info on a wikipedia article, and the chances of that happening to something technical or specific is really low. Everybody claims that it happens all the time, and although it is entirely possible, It doesn't happen often. Besides, wikipedia has their ways of scanning edits to filter out the obvious trolls, and other readers correct the more detailed stuff.
If you really need to know about something then you should double check. However, wikipedia is peer reviewed and so bs tends to get removed and repeated bs tends to get IP addresses blocked from wikipedia. Oftentimes articles are incomplete in the information they present but then wikipedia has sources where you can find more information.
Wikipedia is a reliable source of information. Several studies have attempted to insert false information into common scientific articles. In a matter of hours or days, all of the false information was corrected by the community. This level of peer review is unprecedented. There are more errors in many scientific papers than wikipedia (I reviewed and edited papers for a living at one time).
It is up to the user of a source to cross reference information to check validity and to evaluate the trust worthiness and competence of the author/s. This is true of all sources of information whether they are on the intranet or carved in stone. A good researcher will never rely on just one source. The easiest way to spot pseudo-science rubbish to check how few sources they quote.
While you still shouldn't use Wikipedia in official academic papers because of its perceived lack of credibility it is actually a very accurate source for most topics. Wikipedia added features to the website that warns users that an article may lack sources or accuracy in any way. Many Wikipedia articles are actually written by experts in that field using credibly sources. If you do not want to get caught using Wikipedia in your bibliography you can just find the section of the article you want to use, select the section's citation, and you will be taken to the work cited for that section in the bibliography and you can use that.
Wikipedia generally gets a bad review, especially is academics, due to the fact that it can be edited by anyone. This is true, however Wikipedia can show how invalid this argument is by having the sources box at the bottom of the page. Another argument against Wikipedia is that it is "too easy" to get information from. This argument is untrue because information can be obtained so readily via the internet today that Wikipedia is not anymore easy to access than any other website.
While Wikipedia can be used on normal occasions, it should NOT be used for reports because it cannot be cited as a source. The information came from an often times unknown source, and while sometimes correct, cannot be traced back to an original person(s). Also, the information is constantly being changed, so any information previously used in a report may be completely erased.
Wikipedia is not a reliable source.... Right now . See in current time Wikipedia articles can be edited by ANYBODY! For example, if your reading about green grapes and it says the the green grapes most common color is green, you or me or anybody can change it to say the green grapes most common color is rainbow, which isn't true thus leading people to learn the wrong facts (if they didn't know that green grapes were green already haha). Therefore in that case it isn't reliable. But if Wikipedia takes away that option of anybody being able to edit the article, and they themselves wrote correct information, then it would be reliable. So this leads us to say that right now it isn't reliable but with one tweak it could be the most reliable
The problem with Wikipedia is that fact and fiction are indistinguishable. There is good information on Wikipedia, however, there is also complete falsehoods. The majority of information on Wikipedia may be reliable, however that is not good enough. If one goes on this website thinking they will be properly educated using Wikipedia articles, then they will be misinformed, at least in some areas. And who is to tell them the truth about their recently introduced ignorance? Wikipedia? In summary, Wikipedia can not always be trusted as a reliable source for knowledge.
Wikipedia articles can be written and edited by anyone in the world. You never know if the information that is written is the actions of a twelve year old boy trying to troll on the internet, or a scientist with a PhD. I personally use Wikipedia for the convenience, but I know there is always a chance it is not credible.