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Wikipedia

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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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  • 1. What’s So Good About Wikipedia?
    Laura Wilson
    Reference Librarian
    Framingham State College
    July 14, 2010
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. 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
  • 5. Wikipedia’s Bad Reputation
    Why does Wikipedia have a bad reputation?
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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”
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. “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
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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.

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