Wikipedia: A Legitimate Source?


  • I can't view the first draft so I can't really comment on what you wrote before.
  • Good job on making a title on the page before.

In the article “Can History be Open Source?” Roy Rosenzweig comments on the viability of using Wikipedia as an accurate reference. Rosenzwig compares Wikipedia to other databases such as American National Biography Online and Encarta that have their articles written by experts rather than through the general collaboration efforts that Wikipedia’s open source format affords. Rosenzwig acknowledges that the system is not perfect but argues that the potential to build such a large database of information in such a short amount of time is invaluable.

In comparing the accuracy of Wikipedia with that of other encyclopedia’s not written in the open source format, Rosenzwig cites statistics that claim Wikipedia as a relatively accurate source of information when compared to other more reputable sources. In cases where errors were found, the errors were marginal and did not substantially affect the validity of the article. I agree with Rosenzwig that Wikipedia may in fact play an extremely valuable part in the documentation and sharing of history, especially to underprivileged parts of the world. Rosenzwig brings up an important point and supported in an article by Matt Derick in saying that Wikipedia can be an extremely valuable tool in the first stages of research for any student, as long as the research does not end with Wikipedia. The availability of such a large database of information on such a large array of obscure topics, free of charge, makes Wikipedia an invaluable tool. As long as its pages are not taken as the end all be all of historical research, Wikipedia can do nothing but bring new knowledge to communities where the traditional forms of research are limited.

Derick, Matt. "How Does Wikipedia Stack Up as a Reliable, Trustworthy Source of Accurate Information." Internet Marketing Monitor, 2007. [1]

Rosenzweig, Roy. "Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past." Center for History and New Media: George Mason University, 2008.[2]