How to Use
Wikipedia and
Get Away With It
Mandi Goodsett, Reference Librarian
Adapted from presentation by Kathy Fester, S...
Plan
•
•
•
•
•

Premise and purpose of Wikipedia
Strengths and limitations of Wikipedia
When to use Wikipedia
Evaluating W...
What is Wikipedia?
What is Wikipedia?
A multilingual, Web-based, free-content
encyclopedia project

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ab...
What is Wikipedia?
Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
What is Wikipedia?
Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles?
Anyone in the world with access to the
Internet

http://en....
What is Wikipedia?
Who can make changes to Wikipedia
articles?
Anyone in the world with access to the
Internet
How many ac...
What is Wikipedia?
Who can make changes to Wikipedia
articles?
Anyone in the world with access to the
Internet
How many ac...
What is Wikipedia?
How many unique viewers of Wikipedia were
there as of 2012?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Abo...
What is Wikipedia?
How many unique viewers of Wikipedia were
there as of 2012?

470 million

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
What is Wikipedia?
How many articles were there in
Wikipedia as of 2012?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
What is Wikipedia?
How many articles were there in
Wikipedia as of 2012?
30 million articles in more than 285
languages

h...
What is Wikipedia?
How much of Wikipedia is paid for by
advertising?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
What is Wikipedia?
How much of Wikipedia is paid for by
advertising?
None. No advertising—all donations &
grants

http://e...
Strengths and Weaknesses
of Wikipedia
Strengths of Wikipedia
• Up-to-the minute coverage
• Convenient access
• Self-correcting

• Commitment to neutrality
Strengths of Wikipedia
• Can ask author questions
• Source of obscure information
• Hyperlinked information (not linear)

...
Strengths of Wikipedia
Only source like it in existence:
neutral, objective, encyclopedic coverage of
popular culture
Weaknesses of Wikipedia
• Could be in the middle of a rewrite
• Could have false information that hasn’t
been removed yet
...
Weaknesses of Wikipedia
• Lack of reliability
• Attempts to put a spin on articles
• Edit “wars”
Using Wikipedia for
Research
When to use Wikipedia
#1) Topic Development
#2) Source of Keywords
#3) References to Outside
Sources
When to use Wikipedia

#1) Topic Development
#2) Source of Keywords

#3) References to Outside Sources
When to use Wikipedia
#1) Topic Development
#2) Source of Keywords
#3) References to Outside
Sources
Practice
1) Choose a topic and find the Wikipedia article for it.
2) On your notecard list:
1) Some sub-topics
2) 2-3 help...
Evaluating Wikipedia
Articles
When you decide the use of a Wikipedia article is
appropriate, how do you know if the articl...
Example: Museum of Bad
Art Article
Evaluating the Articles
#1) Talk Tab
o
o

Rating?
Questions raised about article?

Featured
article
Featured Articles
• Featured Article = well-written,
balanced, neutral,
encyclopedic, and backed up
by comprehensive, nota...
Evaluating the Articles
#2) View History Tab
o When created? When last edited?
o How many contributors?
o Evidence of vand...
Evaluating the Articles
#3) References, Notes, See also
o Well-cited?
o Good sources? (print and online?)

Great stepping ...
Evaluating the Articles
#3) References, Notes, See also
o Well-cited?
o Good sources? (print and online?)

Check these sou...
Evaluating the Articles
#4) Quality
o Well-written and organized?

Wellorganized
?
Your Turn
• Choose a keyword from the next slide
and look it up in Wikipedia
• Answer the questions on the handout
• We’ll...
Choose from this list:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Sandy Koufax
Tourette syndrome
Mosque
Orion
Sam Houston
Frank Lloyd Wright
Fig...
Questions?
libref@gsw.edu
See the accompanying library guide here:
http://libguides.gsw.edu/wikipedia
References
•

•

•

•
•
•

Bayliss, Gemma1, g.bayliss@uea.ac.uk. "Exploring The Cautionary Attitude
Toward Wikipedia In Hi...
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  • Using Wikipedia for Research

    1. 1. How to Use Wikipedia and Get Away With It Mandi Goodsett, Reference Librarian Adapted from presentation by Kathy Fester, Shelton School & Evaluation Center, Dallas, TX.
    2. 2. Plan • • • • • Premise and purpose of Wikipedia Strengths and limitations of Wikipedia When to use Wikipedia Evaluating Wikipedia articles Practice
    3. 3. What is Wikipedia?
    4. 4. What is Wikipedia? A multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    5. 5. What is Wikipedia? Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    6. 6. What is Wikipedia? Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles? Anyone in the world with access to the Internet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    7. 7. What is Wikipedia? Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles? Anyone in the world with access to the Internet How many active contributors were there as of Feb. 2012? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    8. 8. What is Wikipedia? Who can make changes to Wikipedia articles? Anyone in the world with access to the Internet How many active contributors were there as of Feb. 2012? 77,000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    9. 9. What is Wikipedia? How many unique viewers of Wikipedia were there as of 2012? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    10. 10. What is Wikipedia? How many unique viewers of Wikipedia were there as of 2012? 470 million http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    11. 11. What is Wikipedia? How many articles were there in Wikipedia as of 2012? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    12. 12. What is Wikipedia? How many articles were there in Wikipedia as of 2012? 30 million articles in more than 285 languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    13. 13. What is Wikipedia? How much of Wikipedia is paid for by advertising? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    14. 14. What is Wikipedia? How much of Wikipedia is paid for by advertising? None. No advertising—all donations & grants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
    15. 15. Strengths and Weaknesses of Wikipedia
    16. 16. Strengths of Wikipedia • Up-to-the minute coverage • Convenient access • Self-correcting • Commitment to neutrality
    17. 17. Strengths of Wikipedia • Can ask author questions • Source of obscure information • Hyperlinked information (not linear) • Many non-Western writers
    18. 18. Strengths of Wikipedia Only source like it in existence: neutral, objective, encyclopedic coverage of popular culture
    19. 19. Weaknesses of Wikipedia • Could be in the middle of a rewrite • Could have false information that hasn’t been removed yet • Subtle vandalism
    20. 20. Weaknesses of Wikipedia • Lack of reliability • Attempts to put a spin on articles • Edit “wars”
    21. 21. Using Wikipedia for Research
    22. 22. When to use Wikipedia #1) Topic Development #2) Source of Keywords #3) References to Outside Sources
    23. 23. When to use Wikipedia #1) Topic Development #2) Source of Keywords #3) References to Outside Sources
    24. 24. When to use Wikipedia #1) Topic Development #2) Source of Keywords #3) References to Outside Sources
    25. 25. Practice 1) Choose a topic and find the Wikipedia article for it. 2) On your notecard list: 1) Some sub-topics 2) 2-3 helpful keywords 3) 1-2 solid references 3) Make sure your name and topic are listed on the notecard and pass it in 4) Was this activity successful for you? Would you find this useful when doing academic research?
    26. 26. Evaluating Wikipedia Articles When you decide the use of a Wikipedia article is appropriate, how do you know if the article you find is credible?
    27. 27. Example: Museum of Bad Art Article
    28. 28. Evaluating the Articles #1) Talk Tab o o Rating? Questions raised about article? Featured article
    29. 29. Featured Articles • Featured Article = well-written, balanced, neutral, encyclopedic, and backed up by comprehensive, notable, and verified knowledge • Good Article = solid, fairly reliable article
    30. 30. Evaluating the Articles #2) View History Tab o When created? When last edited? o How many contributors? o Evidence of vandalism? (constant changes) Revised over 500 times! Check for recent revisions
    31. 31. Evaluating the Articles #3) References, Notes, See also o Well-cited? o Good sources? (print and online?) Great stepping stone to more reliable sources
    32. 32. Evaluating the Articles #3) References, Notes, See also o Well-cited? o Good sources? (print and online?) Check these sources and evaluate Non-Wikipedia Online Sources
    33. 33. Evaluating the Articles #4) Quality o Well-written and organized? Wellorganized ?
    34. 34. Your Turn • Choose a keyword from the next slide and look it up in Wikipedia • Answer the questions on the handout • We’ll share what we found as a group
    35. 35. Choose from this list: • • • • • • • • • • Sandy Koufax Tourette syndrome Mosque Orion Sam Houston Frank Lloyd Wright Fighting in ice hockey Coldplay Final Fantasy MC Escher • • • • • • Golem Elvis Presley General Relativity Tropical cyclone Do the right thing (film) 2005 Texas Longhorns football Remember: Discussion, Notes, References!
    36. 36. Questions? libref@gsw.edu See the accompanying library guide here: http://libguides.gsw.edu/wikipedia
    37. 37. References • • • • • • Bayliss, Gemma1, g.bayliss@uea.ac.uk. "Exploring The Cautionary Attitude Toward Wikipedia In Higher Education: Implications For Higher Education Institutions." New Review Of Academic Librarianship 19.1 (2013): 36-57. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Calhoun, Cate. "Using Wikipedia in Information Literacy Instruction." College & Research Libraries News 75.1 (2014): 32-33. College & Research Libraries News. Association of College and Research Libraries, Jan. 2014. Web. Feb. 2014. Fester, Kathy. "Wikipedia-Wise." LibrarymindsActII. Wikispaces, 1 Oct. 2009. Web. Oct. 2013. Gray, Andrew1. "Wikipedia And Information Literacy." School Librarian 61.1 (2013): 8-10. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Polkinghorne, Sarah, and Cameron Hoffman. "Crown Jewel Or Pure Evil? Wikipedia Through An Information Literacy Lens." Feliciter 55.3 (2009): 101103. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Rand, Angela Doucet. "Mediating At The Student-Wikipedia Intersection." Journal Of Library Administration 50.7/8 (2010): 923-932. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.

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