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Wikipedia can be a great jumping off point - but don't stop there.
How librarians use Wikipedia
- As a gold mine to identify keywords and related concepts, to use in database searches. (Particularly for scientific topics!)
- Linked phrases in each entry lead to more information.
- As a source for images. The creators of graphic images and maps in Wikipedia (and most in Wikimedia) have already agreed to let other people use them (with proper attribution).
- Keep in mind that the information might not be authoritative. Looking at the View History tab tells how often that entry has been changed, and how many different people have worked on it.
- The notes and references at the bottom to lead to other information.
(Reminder - don't copy and paste and then change the words around. That's plagiarism.)
Is Wikipedia a good site for college research?
Look at the end of any Wikipedia article for links to sources that should be evaluated, but may be good credible websites.
Is Wikipedia a good source for college research?
Don't confuse the diving board with the swimming pool! Wikipedia is often a good diving board, good for getting you into the pool. It's not the pool. The pool includes: credible websites, books, articles, lectures by experts (sometimes on Youtube).
Scholars often take swipes at Wikipedia, claiming that it dumbs down education and encourages intellectual laziness. But in an article in Science Progress, a scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas argues that bans on Wikipedia are irresponsible.