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View Poll Results: Do you trust Wikipedia's Content?

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  • Yes

    15 83.33%
  • No

    3 16.67%
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Thread: What are your thoughts on Wikipedia?

  1. #1 What are your thoughts on Wikipedia? 
    Forum Freshman NDman06's Avatar
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    What are your thoughts on the information in Wikipedia? Is it considered peer reviewed? Any average Joe can edit the information contained in any of the articles. Do you rely on it for basic information? for important information?


    NDman06
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  3. #2  
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    I find it good for basic information on subjects which a lot of people will read about, but I've spotted innacuracies or unchecked vandalism in a number of small more specialist articles, so tend to try to find information elsewhere.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Overall, it's great. It's a solid starting point when you want information on a topic. They do include references too so that's also a place to start if you want to dig a little deeper.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Junior Bettina's Avatar
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    I used it all through school and now in college. It hasn't let me down once.

    Bee
    Emotionally based life form. The Fword will get you on my ignore list.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    It's a decent starting point overall, but I have found issues - a few problems in chemistry articles and unsubstantiated gossip about Fritz Haber.
    "I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger."-Ophiolite about Richard Dawkins

    Read my blog about my experiences defending science here!http://silkworm.wordpress.com/

    http://www.sciencechatforum.comScience/Philosophy Chat Forum Moderator
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Can't disagree with any of the above.. Wikipedia is handy in the general field, but when you get specific in almost every field, it is not so great.

    But that's the curse of the internet, not Wikipedia. Try finding some real in-depth information on a specific subject, you will most likely find speculation and a bad new-age website detailing some 'earth-shattering theory' combining your subject with numerology and planetary movement.

    Eventually, when you want that in-depth, you'll have to find a book, a scientific journal or a web forum you can ask

    Mr U
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    I love Wikipedia, sure you have to search through the junk but then you can find some wonderful perls :wink: Especially historical topics are very well covered.
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  9. #8  
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    Wiki - Use it with caution, If you are into a field it's easy to spot the sabotage/conjecture etc, if you are just starting out, try to verify it from an acredited source (off line if poss - say the municipal library).

    Try this one out though, and you can download it...

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Fun-w...ages-5285t.php
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  10. #9 What do you think of a new WIKI site that 
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    Off topic deleted - Megabrain. Please discuss the issue here and not just post links
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    i trust most of the information, however when i get halfway down the page and find a random piece of text that says,"Hello my name is Sven and i come from sweeden", you start to wonder.

    luckily that was cleaned up.
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  12. #11  
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    yes i trust it only because it has been proven that what i have read is mostly true. i would only hope that i could pick out the misinformation when the time comes..
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  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman Jellybird's Avatar
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    Wikipedia is amazing! i only ever use wikipedia to do research for school work instead of doing a google search which comes up with lots of unhelpful sites. Though Wikipedia does have some very complex stuff, especially on science topics, I have always found something useful on it!
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybird
    Wikipedia is amazing! i only ever use wikipedia to do research for school work instead of doing a google search which comes up with lots of unhelpful sites. Though Wikipedia does have some very complex stuff, especially on science topics, I have always found something useful on it!
    It's good as a pointer, you'll find the terms - Beware it has mistakes, errors, omissions, some is out of date - use it as an index.

    THere are plenty of authoritative sources on-line.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Junior Bettina's Avatar
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    In the latest issue of New Scientist I read an article that the online Encyclopaedia Britannica had a level of accuracy of 3 errors per article on average while Wikipedia had an average of 4 errors per article.

    So, thats not bad and I've been using it for years.

    Bettina
    Emotionally based life form. The Fword will get you on my ignore list.
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  16. #15  
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    As a physicist I would not use either of them - except to point to avenues of investigation - I use reference books wherever possible. THe thing is with wiki, after a while you 'sense' the crap - also what does it mean by 'error' - a typo, word omission, blatant interference? the EB is unlikely to have the last - WIKI is open to editing by anyone, could you find a survey on 'innacuracies' rather than 'errors' ?
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  17. #16  
    Forum Junior Bettina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    As a physicist I would not use either of them - except to point to avenues of investigation - I use reference books wherever possible. THe thing is with wiki, after a while you 'sense' the crap - also what does it mean by 'error' - a typo, word omission, blatant interference? the EB is unlikely to have the last - WIKI is open to editing by anyone, could you find a survey on 'innacuracies' rather than 'errors' ?
    I understand. If I was a physicist I wouldn't be going to Wiki either... or any other. But, since I'm a student studying a wide range of topics. Wiki is perfect.

    Bettina
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  18. #17  
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    Perfect - no - learn the wrong stuff in physics and you'll end up selling burgers - research the detail properly - you must have access to a library - also most places [I think even MIT have data on-line] - you should have access to campus database ( at least we do in England you can't be behind us...). It's ok for genreal stuff - but please don't do your thesis fom wiki.....
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