Micro Life Zone
Asked by jgiumelli to Arti, Dustin, James, Steven on 22 May 2012.
Most of it is pretty good, although other parts of it are quite poor. Overall, however, people have done studies comparing the accuracy of wikipedia to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and found that wikipedia entries are more complete and accurate. As wikipedia is online and anyone can contribute to it, it is generally well up to date. I find it very useful myself, if I know nothing about a topic, and use it as a starting point to get some basic information. Then I trace the information back to primary sources, rather than just trusting what wikipedia says. You should always do that when researching, with wikipedia or any other source of information.
The very large articles with lots of contributors are better than the short ones with only a few but as Steven said you should only use the information as a starting point and find the original sources when you can. Wikipedia makes this very easy by providing the sources at the bottom of the articles.
As someone who has marked university level essays if we find Wikipedia as a source or find text that matches Wikipedia the student will get cautioned and asked to resubmit. If the do it again it is an automatic assignment fail. Don’t ever rely solely on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is not too bad. It is a very good place to start if you want to find out about something. Then go on and read further sources
Most of the information that I have seen on Wikipedia has been pretty accurate.
The idea with having an online encyclopaedia that everyone can edit is that the inaccuracies will eventually be written out as more and more contributions and refinements are made to articles. This is why the longer articles are usually much better than the newer, shorter ones, as James mentioned. I find that it is a good starting source of information, particularly if I have no idea about the topic, but then I do look beyond it, at books and scientific articles. Definitely don’t rely on Wikipedia as your only source of information. Wikipedia is also good if you just want to look up something quickly, like what the capital of a particular country is or what its flag looks like.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2019