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How to...Evaluate Websites: What About Wikipedia?

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Wikipedia and Academic Research

Anyone can contribute to a Wikipedia article. 

However, detailed information about authors' credentials and purpose is not provided.  

If you don't know the credentials and purpose of the author, it's not a good source for academic research.

While Wikipedia is not a good source for an academic paper, it can be useful in other ways:

  • it can provide a basic overview of your topic
  • it sometimes provides a table of contents, helping you to understand how your topic can be organized
  • it can introduce you to important names and vocabulary related to your topic
  • it can provide a list of references and other websites that may be appropriate (though you will need to evaluate them to be sure)

Video - Wikipedia: Beneath the Surface