Wikipedia No Longer Citable at Middlebury College


Barbara, can you tell us anything more about the Middlebury College’s history department faculty barring the use of Wikipedia as a source in academic work?  (I’m sure you’re busy — but any insights or pointers would be much appreciated.)  (Thanks to Dave Winer for the pointer.)

3 thoughts on “Wikipedia No Longer Citable at Middlebury College

  1. Bud,

    As I am on leave this winter/spring, I was away when the decision came out, but, yes, the history department has become quite concerned by the number of students citing wikipedia without verifying the accuracy of the information, which led to some problems with facts in papers and on tests. Here’s an interview with the department head, from Inside Higher Ed, and coverage from our student-run newspaper (interesting comments, too).

    There are a couple of issues here, of course: whether college-level papers should rely on encyclopedias as anything more than conduits to citable sources and whether wikipedia is reliable enough as a source. Personally I like to use these kinds of moments as wonderfully teachable in my classes–using a range of wikipedia entries from accurate to inaccurate to teach information literacy.


  2. Even though I tell students Wikipedia is “disallowed” (because of its accuracy issues in part, but mainly because COLLEGE STUDENTS SHOULD GO BEYOND SIMPLE ENCYCLOPEDIAS FOR RESEARCH), I still get people who cite it. And then who complain when I take points off their papers.

  3. The problem of Wikipedia is that the articles are always changing. I think that is good CASUAL research(Or to know where you should begin to work), but for academic research is not reliable…

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