Mediating at the student-wikipedia intersection

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Abstract

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia. The encyclo- pedia is openly edited by registered users. Wikipedia editors can edit their own and others’ entries, and some abuse of this editorial power has been unveiled. Content authors have also been criticized for publishing less than accurate content. Educators and students acknowledge casual use of Wikipedia in spite of its perceived in- accuracies. Use of the online encyclopedia as a reference resource in scholarly papers is still debated. The increasing popularity of Wikipedia has led to an influx of research articles analyzing the validity and content of the encyclopedia. This study provides an analysis of relevant articles on academic use of Wikipedia. This analysis attempts to summarize the status of Wikipedia in relation to the scope (breadth) and depth of its contents and looks at con- tent validity issues that are of concern to the use of Wikipedia for higher education. The study seeks to establish a reference point from which educators can make informed decisions about scholarly use of Wikipedia as a reference resource.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Crowd sourcing
  • Encyclopedia
  • Information literacy
  • Wikipedia

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Authors

  • Angela Doucet Rand

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