Using Wikipedia for Research

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Information about Using Wikipedia for Research
Education

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: goodset2

Source: slideshare.net

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.

Plan • • • • • Premise and purpose of Wikipedia Strengths and limitations of Wikipedia When to use Wikipedia Evaluating Wikipedia articles Practice

What is Wikipedia?

What is Wikipedia? A multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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

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

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

What is Wikipedia? How many unique viewers of Wikipedia were there as of 2012? 470 million http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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) • Many non-Western writers

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 • Subtle vandalism

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 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?

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?

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, notable, and verified knowledge • Good Article = solid, fairly reliable article

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

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

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

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 share what we found as a group

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!

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 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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