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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 2, January 13, 2008, Article 9

ON WIKIPEDIA AS A RESEARCH SOURCE

[On Tuesday Ed Snible published a blog post about the
use of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a source for
numismatic information.  Some excerpts are published below,
but I encourage readers to take a look at the complete post.
-Editor]

Last July's issue of The Celator contains an editorial
from Kerry Wetterstrom. Kerry has decided he can no longer
accept articles that reference Wikipedia.

Kerry won't accept articles citing Wikipedia because
1) "trolls" are creating deliberate falsehoods in it,
2) Universities are banning the site and
3) An excellent Celator submission had errors in rulers
dates and the source was Wikipedia.

Errors in regnal dates don't bother me. ... However,
authors should also consider that citing Wikipedia makes
them look kinda dumb. It is better to obtain the books
and articles cited in the ===References=== section of
the Wikipedia article and see what the experts actually said!

[I have to agree with Ed that citing Wikipedia is risky,
although I'm of two minds on whether it should be banned
altogether.  Some Wikipedia entries are downright marvelous;
others, not so much.  But one has to take ANY reference from
ANYWHERE with a grain of salt and due skepticism.  This very
topic came up at the office this week as I was doing research
for a proposal for our company's board of directors.  The
best source we were able to find for a certain bit of
information happened to be on Wikipedia.  I was very much
against using it initially, but after cross-referencing
some key bits and pieces to check accuracy we decided to
include it. -Editor]

To read Ed Snible's complete blog post on Wikipedia, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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