23 Things for Research – Thing 14: Exploring Wikipedia

I use Wikipedia quite often to find information, even for research. Of course, Wikipedia is not my sole resource when doing research but it’s really helpful in introducing me to a topic in order for me to use other search engines and databases to find more detailed information.

I have never edited a Wikipedia article. I use it to find information on which I am not knowledgeable, not to find errors in topics I am already knowledgeable on. For the purposes of this task, I looked up something which I know a lot about – trampolining. The Wikipedia entry looks accurate to me and the most recent revision is 20th November, yesterday. I think any editing I did here would not be appreciated.

Being able to see the history of the entry’s edits is useful. If you know a topic has been in the news recently, for example, and yet the the entry was lasted edited two years ago, you might like to edit the page to make it more up-to-date, or, if you are not keen on editing, take the information with a pinch of salt.

I think Wikipedia is an extremely valuable resource, although people should be careful about how they use the information and whether it is trustworthy. It’s use in education and research should not be frowned upon too fiercely as it can  be a great help in introducing somebody to a topic they know little about.

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