Wikipedia is an online encyclopaedia that manages its extremely large amount of information by allowing basically anyone to edit and write its many, many pages. This quasi-freedom creates a perception of Wikipedia as an unreliable source of information. While it is true that some self governed guidelines and policing are present on the site, a lot of false information can get through on to individual pages. Because of this it is generally considered a bad idea (and is commonly against the rules) to use cite Wikipedia for, say an academic assignment.

Too many people contributing such a crazy combination of true and false information over such a large variety of articles definitely makes Wikipedia one of the least credible popular information sites on the internet. Even my assignments for this blog specifically mention not citing Wikipedia, and with good reason.

In my opinion however Wikipedia can be a good jumping off point for gathering information on a topic. Because of the encyclopaedia’s use of citations and referencing itself, information found on pages can lead you to credible websites full of helpful facts. The broad strokes of Wikipedia articles can give one ideas on what to search for when thinking of a topic. It just goes to show how helpful some things can be while surfing the web.


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