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What's so good about Wikipedia? Read the presentation to find out.

What's so good about Wikipedia? Read the presentation to find out.

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    Wikipedia Wikipedia Presentation Transcript

    • What’s So Good About Wikipedia?
      Laura Wilson
      Reference Librarian
      Framingham State College
      July 14, 2010
    • Wikipedia : The Basics
      Free online encyclopedia!
      No login required, anyone can access the information provided
      Coverage range
      Includes 3,349,000+ English language articles (as of July 13, 2010)
      Currency
      Articles can be edited immediately, providing the most recent information available
    • Wikipedia : The Basics
      Simple, user-friendly layout
      Easy to navigate
      Available in many languages
      Links to additional info, source citations, suggestions for further reading
      Each article has a discussion page and history
      You can view when changes were made to the page, and any discussion about those changes
    • Wikipedia : The Basics
      Most text and many images are under Creative Commons & GNU Free Documentation License
      Can freely distribute and reproduce content
      Many contributors from all over the world
      Nearly 12,700,000 registered users (as of 7/13/2010)
      Anyone can contribute and edit
      reduces cultural bias
      Hosted by Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization
    • Wikipedia’s Bad Reputation
      Why does Wikipedia have a bad reputation?
    • Wikipedia’s Bad Reputation
      Anyone can write / edit an article
      Not “scholarly”
      Vandalism
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bad_Jokes_and_Other_Deleted_Nonsense
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Most_vandalized_pages
    • Wikipedia Has Standards
      Information provided must cite verifiable, published sources
      Particularly if someone disputes presented information
      If disputed information is not cited, it will be deleted
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Template_messages/Disputes
      Articles must not present original research
      All articles must be written from a neutral point of view
    • Wikipedia Has Standards
      Over 1,500 administrators (as of 7/13/2010)
      Mediators in content disputes
      Delete articles
      Block vandals accounts / IP addresses
      Protect vandalized articles from further edits
      Wikipedia explicitly states that not all content is valid³
      Advises to be “wary of one single source” and to “check references”
    • Wikipedia and Educators
      Professors have created assignments for students based on Wikipedia
      Edit existing articles
      Create new articles
      Discuss strengths and weaknesses of existing articles on a topic relative to the course
      Cover course content and information literacy
      Contribute / edit content themselves
      Add scholarly information of experts
    • Wikipedia and Librarians
      Use Wikipedia in library instruction sessions to teach information literacy
      Have students evaluate good and bad aspects of particular articles
      Contribute / edit information
      More scholarly environment
      Add relevant external links to library homepage / collections
      Meet the users where they are ª
    • Sister Projects of Wikipedia
      Hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation
      Wikiversity: Free learning materials & activities for all levels (pre-school – university, professional development)
      Wikimedia Commons: freely usable multimedia files
      Wikiquote: “free quote compendium”
      Wikitionary: free content, multilingual dictionary
      Wikibooks: open content textbooks / books
      Wikinews: free news source
      Wikispecies: free species directory
    • “We know from history that prohibition is not a viable means to control consumption of “bad” things. This is especially the case for Wikipedia if information professionals are sneakily using it themselves. Like the 1930s war on alcohol, a ban on Wikipedia would mean far more losses than gains.” – William Badke, Trinity Western University¹
    • Works Cited
      ²Badke, William. (2008). What to Do with Wikipedia. Infolitland, 32:2. Retrieved from: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/
      ª Pressley, Lauren and McCallum, Carolyn J. (2008). Putting the library in Wikipedia. Online 32:5. Retrieved from: www.infotoday.com/online/sep08/Pressley_McCallum.shtml
      ¹http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability
      ³ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Researching_with_Wikipedia
    • Suggested Reading
      Broughton, John. (2008). Wikipedia: The missing manual. Beijing; Cambridge: O’Reilly.
      Lally, Ann M. and Dunford, Carolyn E. (2007). Using Wikipedia to extend digital collections. D-Lib Magazine 13:5/6.
      Pollard, Elizabeth Ann. (2008). Raising the stakes: Writing about witchcraft on Wikipedia. History Teacher 42:1.