Welcome to Digital History › Forums › Weekly Discussion Topics 2018-19 › Week 15 Discussion Question
- This topic has 7 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 4 months ago by Sean Kheraj.
January 14, 2019 at 9:42 am #3230Sean KherajKeymaster
After the previous week’s readings, discussion, and lab, did your view of Wikipedia change? If so, how? If not, why?January 16, 2019 at 9:32 pm #3233veronicapettaParticipant
I have always used Wikipedia for quick research on celebrities, TV shows, movies, etc but after the discussion, readings, and lab last week my perspective of the website I have been always told to avoid has changed. First off, I thought that Wikipedia is not a credible source for academic research is because it is open to the public to editing but although that is true, Wikipedia’s authors have not actually done everything other encyclopedia websites have to give their readers everything about the topic they are researching. I also never paid close attention to the footnotes at the end of the page because I am always just looking for quick facts. However, after spending some time looking through the footnotes in discussion last week I learned that some of the information has been provided by credible people with credible sources to back it up. A feature that I learned about through the readings that I thought was really cool and never really knew existed before was being able to go back to previous versions of the Wikipedia article and seeing the changes that have been made to create the page currently available, until someone edits it next. There are some interesting features about Wikipedia, but it is still an open-source website which degrades it credibility a little bit, this perspective still stands true for.
January 16, 2019 at 9:55 pm #3235amandamarinoParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by veronicapetta.
After last week’s lecture my opinion of Wikipedia has definitely changed. Some of the things I already knew were confirmed such as the fact that there can be many authors, and that you do not necessarily need to be an “expert” on any subject in order to add to its page. Because of these things, I have always had a fear of using Wikipedia in schoolwork, even as a starting point. Before the lecture I just assumed that Wikipedia was deemed so unreliable because people could just openly erase and change what is written anonymously. I never researched or looked into Wikipedia to see if this was true, or to experiment with editing a page before. Learning about the “talk” feature and completing the tutorial on editing, I am now aware that there is more of a process than I originally thought. I enjoyed the class discussion, especially the talk surrounding whether Wikipedia is an appropriate source to use for schoolwork. I agreed with the opinion that it can be a great starting point to begin research if the researcher knows nothing about the topic. My opinion of Wikipedia has changed because I feel less afraid of it now. Additionally, I understand the historian’s role in adding to Wikipedia now. I never understood why people would spend so much time posting what they know onto a Wikipedia site, and especially why published historians would use this free web source to publish work when they have other academic source collections to use (such as ProQuest). I now understand that academic “experts” use of free sources such as Wikipedia is important for accessibility and making this information readily available to a broader audience.
January 17, 2019 at 11:41 am #3237YuanParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by amandamarino.
Wikipedia is one of the most common sites that I tend to use when I need to learn the basic information of a specific event. My impressions to the site prior reading the materials, participating in the discussion and completing the lab were that Wikipedia is a basic tool but written by scholars, and it only comprises the primary information without details. However, after new insights gained throughout discussions, readings and the training modules, I realize that my views were incorrect. Information on Wikipedia is contributed by many others, including those who are not scholars. Secondly, information on many topics is written in details. As well, many images attached on Wikipedia were from archival databases, and there are also many links that allow readers to click on and learn. Furthermore, before reading the assigned articles by Rosenzweig, I have never learnt about the NPOV policy. Thus, it was meaningful for me to gain new knowledge.January 17, 2019 at 11:52 am #3238sarahmolentParticipant
For quick facts about celebrities, points in history or other discussion topics i like to use Wikipedia to get my information. However, after last weeks lab my viewpoint sort of shifted about the website. In school I was always told that Wikipedia was not a credible source due to that fact that anyone who has an account can edit any page found on the site. Due to this I always had a preconceived notion about this website and would use if for fact checking. However, after last weeks lab, I learned a lot about the website. Turns our that this website has numerous features, such as sources and footnotes that can allow one to gain more information about a specific topic. Also when navigating the page, many subpages appear that can allow you to get more information on the topics discussed on your original search page. Unlike scholarly journals, wikipedia can always be changed once its published by an expert. Due to this i feel like Wikipedia can be used as a credible source due to the fact that information is constantly being updated.January 17, 2019 at 11:54 am #3239Connor PantaleoParticipant
In terms of how I view Wikipedia not really. Personally it did not change my point of view or how i will use it. I however did learn something new about having a account for wikipedia and the courses available. I was not aware that such extensive training was provided. This i beleive is a good thing as it gives people the information they need to properly contribute to Wikipedia.January 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm #3240elisagalloroParticipant
My previous opinions of the Wikipedia site has definitely changed after our class discussion. I was always taught not to trust the information on this site because of the many editors that are available to the different pages. Instead, I would use Wikipedia as a starting point for my research instead of using it as an actual source. In turn I have missed the many useful tools that Wikipedia has to offer. For example, their footnotes and hyperlinks to sources used to supply the page with facts and information are a very helpful tool for researchers. Our classroom discussion has made these tools present and has changed the way I view Wikipedia as a beneficial tool in conducting research.January 17, 2019 at 2:04 pm #3241Sean KherajKeymaster
There is certainly variety when it comes to the quality of Wikipedia articles, so I think using this as a research source should be done with caution. But the same can be said of any source. You should think critically about how the source is produced and what evidence is used to verify the information available in that source.
While Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, that also means that it can be improved by anyone too. This week in lab, you’re going to improve some Wikipedia pages by adding citations and/or correcting flaws in some articles. It should be fun!
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