Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wikipedia: Friend or foe?

From the vault on February 19, 2008

I came across this opinion piece about Wikipedia, and it got me thinking.

I can remember the beginning of Wikipedia. I remember one friend of mine in particular, who was insistent about making sure the Gamecock baseball team had an entry. I never questioned him being the one to write the entry, because he worked for the athletic department, had been to basically every home baseball game since he'd lived there and could recite statistics about the team and players wherever, whenever.

But just because I trusted his knowledge of the team doesn't necessarily mean it was thorough or even correct. Was his voice the one the world should hear from about Gamecock baseball???

I'm inclined to say yes. In doing so, I give away my position and admit that I think Wikipedia is a fantastic resource. However, there are some caveats - particularly in science, where definitions and data can vary widely from lab to lab.

In The Policy Council's 2007 Advocacy Effectiveness Survey, congressional staffers revealed that Wikipedia is among their top resources for research - even if it is just for a brief overview. How might scientists then make their entries more accessible for non-scientific audiences, like Hill staffers?

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment