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Oh come on! Wikipedia isn’t that inaccurate!

September 17, 2010 1 comment

When looking for quick facts on a topic we all go to Google to find answers, and more commonly than not we click on the Wikipedia link. Wikipedia has become one of the top ranked in Google results, and for a simple reason. As it is an encyclopaedia maintained by [ultimately] everyone it is one of the most accurate, up-to-date and in-depth encyclopaedia available. According to a study carried out in 2005 by “Nature”, a journal of science, Wikipedia is just as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica with only a slightly higher error rate. [1]

Since this study in 2005, Wikipedia’s article rate has exploded and the information gathered has increased exponentially, because of this you could question whether this has made it’s articles accuracy decline. According to a study carried out by Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University this is not the case. He found that Wikipedia was just as accurate as well-known journal articles, however it’s writing style was a little harder to read. I would assume this would be because so many people put their 2 cents in on a topic, adding to an existing part that was written a different way. [2]

With this in mind I really don’t understand why many university lectures will not take wikipedia as a reference. In some cases they have state that they will fail you if they find wikipedia on your reference list. Yes, I have to agree it isn’t the best reputable source, however it is a fantastic place to start.

[1] http://news.cnet.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html

[2] http://www.livescience.com/technology/Wikipedia-Accurate-Hard-Read-100601.html

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