Friday, June 19, 2009


Wikipedia is widely used by people of different backgrounds, ages and purposes around the world. Many people consider Wikipedia an important tool for knowledge and as competent editor because they can find information necessary for their goal. Did you realize that? There are many students who use Wikipedia for academic purposes, and they think that they will be excellent in overall subjects of studies. However, the students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because is not peer reviewed data for academic research, academic sources and for content.

Students are not recommended to use Wikipedia for academic research because the information is not approved for peer review, so it is not accurate and lack of credibility. The information is written and has an edited for anyone because it is a popular website and it is easy to access to the database. Because the information is not recognized or evaluated by experts, they are exposed to free availability and present weaknesses. Moreover, many sources are not cited in Wikipedia. For example, students need to integrate knowledge and scientific methods to develop research. Thus they will be able to learn research skill and to get the opportunity for finding the logic. Meredith Byers quotes Don Wyatt, Chairman of the Department, as saying that Wikipedia is not an accurate source for students’ research (2007).

Wikipedia should not be an academic source for students because the material is not verified or assessed by experts. There is insufficiency on variety and quality of data. Furthermore, many articles are not organized or comprehensive. Many articles are not supported by source and contain grammatical errors. In fact they need a competent editor with professional capacity and experience. The Wikipedia database is frequently in transformation; for instance, the data used for writing a research paper could not be the same version when you finish the research. On the contrary, sometimes the data are not updated, so cannot be used as principal source. According to Edward Bilodeau, “As for Wikipedia, I would agree that, for a variety of reasons, it is probably not a proper source for academic work. Many professors would not accept an encyclopedia entry as a citation in a paper, regardless of which encyclopedia it came from. Some might accept it as a source of a definition, perhaps, but in those cases, it would have to be an encyclopedia recognized in that field. Wikipedia, in a general sense, wouldn’t make the grade” (2008, para.8).

Wikipedia has a limited contend and deficient quantity on a variety of topics. For example, there are many changes in fields such as art, science, politics, history, technology and so on, but the specific topic inside the field of science is poor quality in context of content and diversity. We are not contradicted to say that it is negative to permit users generating content. This is the reason that Wikipedia has been criticized as not very good quality learning material due to inconsistency and imperfection in specialization of topics. According to Jason Wolverton, “it is not the number of articles available on Wikipedia that is up for debate, though. The argument amongst scholars is that the information available on Wikipedia is not necessarily accurate and that the articles themselves are particularly susceptible to internet vandalism” (2007, para.11).

Many people say that Wikipedia has succeeded because it has an advantage compared to other sources of references, and it has coverage by large number of writers, editors, and readers accessible in many languages. Moreover, many people can work at some time on one document. The opposing idea is irrelevant because Wikipedia has been provided more internet coverage than books published. Wikipedia made in books are not located in different parts of the world; also the internet has a disadvantage in terms of durability of data that is constantly changing. For example, we can save and conserve the same information in a book for a long time.
In conclusion, Wikipedia is not an appropriate source of good quality learning material for students in academia, or in specific content areas. Even though, it has a global coverage and free availability, It is inconsistent for research skill, has insufficient content in a variety of topics and is absent credibility in its database.


Wolverton, J. (2007, Jan 22). Wikipedia Wisdom, Valley Vanguard, Retrieved June 5, 2007 from

Bilodeau, E. (2008, Jan 14). Weblog. Academic banning of Google and Wikipedia misguided. Retrieved on June 5, 2009

Byers, M. (2007, Aug 3). Controversy over use of Wikipedia in academic papers arrives at Smith, Sophian, Smith College. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.