Summation of “Thoughts on Wikipedia” (Module 3)

This week’s module has really opened my eyes to the credibility that Wikipedia holds and after reading others opinions on the matter it seems that we share the same thoughts. I have gathered that most of us use Wikipedia for personal use such as looking up information on an actor or a movie etc. without hesitation. This is because it is the easiest and usually holds the most information but when it comes to academic research we use more caution and multiple sources to back up our research. Although my faith in Wikipedia has not really changed, since I have always been a fan and have had trust in it, my faith in other sources of information have slightly decreased. With sites like Encyclopedia Britannica, I have never had a concern for them containing errors but now I am more aware, that they are not so different from Wikipedia after all. It really goes to show you that one source is insufficient to gain the correct information. The collaborative work that is done by Wikipedia brings together different members of the community who may have different backgrounds but as a whole make one article together. Working together to produce one product is a lot better in my opinion than just one person expressing their knowledge. This will potentially reduce the amount of bias opinions being expressed and get a well rounded amount of information on the topic. I recently wrote a scientific summary for one of my courses and some of the remarks I received from the prof said that the articles I found were too bias towards the results of the experiments. Regardless that I used 15 sources I still wasn’t able to escape people’s opinions. That being said, if there were more sites like Wikipedia or perhaps even sites that provide a wide and diverse range of articles or documents on the chosen topic then it could potentially prevent people from gaining biased information. After learning that Wikipedia’s information is not that much more unreliable than the so called “reliable” sites, I think we should be allowed to include it as one of our references, provided that it is not the only one. I think the public should be more aware of the credibility that Wikipedia holds and that it shouldn’t be underestimated the way it is. Wikipedia is not perfect and there are definitely things that can be improved such as doing background checks on everything that is to be added or changed but the big message that I’ve taken away from this is that it is very important to back up your information with more than just one source. As accredited a document may be, there is always the chance of error.

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