Monday, January 23, 2006

Wiki as reference

As a sort of follow-up to by previous blog entry on the wikipedia, yesterday I saw my first newspaper report citing Wikipedia as a source. It was in Sydney's Sunday Telegraph, in a report about Spielberg's new film, Munich. It had a side-bar article about the Black September Organisation with Wikipedia declared as the source.

Okay, the Sunday Telegraph doesn't rank amongst the elite of the world's newspapers. It's what UK readers would call a tabloid. Personally, I prefer 'zodiac press'. That is, you have to have some scepticism towards any newspaper that provides a horoscope for the benefit of its readers.

While my previous blog entry said that generally, accuracy was of less importance than usefulness, when basing an article on that information, accuracy is of prime importance. Personally, I don't think the Wikipedia entries themselves should ever be used as a sole resource. At a minimum the history and discussion pages should also be referred to, as there's always the chance that the latest edit was 'corrupt'. Better still, refer to several sources. Remember, writing an article based on one source of information is plagarism, using many is reseach.

And on an Oracle note, thanks to Dizwell for the space for an Oracle wiki.

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