Wiki sources more reliable than we think

Wiki sources more reliable than we think

There are 26 billion pages of content on Wikipedia, and in comparison to college level textbooks, the website is 98percent accurate, according to open-site.org.
So why not use this easily accessible resource, even when the teacher scolds you not to?
Even the Encyclopedia Britannica is taking note of the decline in library use and after 244 years they will go out of print, focusing more on online services.
“The youth has an attachment to the digital screen,” Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopedia Britannica told CNN. “That’s how they learn and explore, and so that’s where we will be.”
Students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (AMK) use Wikipedia more often than not when doing research.
Some students, like Communications major Tristan Hernandez use Wikipedia as a map, rather than a hub of information.
“My sources come from Wikipedia but I rarely use the information,” Hernandez said.
Still, some professors advise against it.
“As a historian especially, I would never recommend students use Wikipedia,” Dr. Michael Houf, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, said. “It may be a good jumping off point but it is not a credible source.”
Jasey Limon, Biomedical Science major, said he uses online resources from the Jernigan Library because he also feels that Wikipedia is not creditable enough.
Though, Wikipedia has online editors, called Wikipedians, who constantly monitor the articles, making sure there are no errors, and that the information presented is accurate.
Even so, Dr. Michelle Johnson-Vela, chair of the launguage and literature department, feels the use of Wikipedia depends on the assignment.
“Personally, I advise students that Wikipedia is not the most reliable of sources for several reasons,” Johnson-Vela said. “But for superficial or cursory research and informal homework assignments or presentations, it is acceptable.”
Though students try to stay away from the Wikipedia, the temptation is still there.
“I try to stay off Wikipedia but it’s hard sometimes,” Ryan Martinez, Range and Wildlife major, said. “Wikipedia has everything in a nutshell, as opposed to other websites that don’t answer your questions out right.”
According to open-site.org’s infograph, 56 percent of students will stop their research, or change topics, if little or no information is found on Wikipedia.
Even though these students didn’t rush to buy the last printed copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica, many people did, according to CNN.com.
“They are flying off the shelves,” Cauz said.
Sales spiked to 1,050 sets a week, compared to 60 sets a week before the company’s announcement three weeks ago.
The company has also seen an increase in Internet subscriptions.
Despite being out of print, the Encyclopedia Britannica will continue to bring reliable information to researchers everywhere.
“Society still pays high regard to facts and scholarly knowledge,” Cauz said. “The whole idea of Britannica being alive and vibrant is here.”