Outsourcing: Wikipedia and Legitimate Research Source Essay

Submitted By clumzyninja
Words: 1105
Pages: 5

Outsourcing Writing a research paper requires lots of valid and credible research. The investigations of anything and everything that will help write about a specific research topic. Wikipedia is a great internet source to find useful information, but is it a legitimate research source? A legitimate research source online would be a site used to investigate and justify whatever it is you are researching. Using Wikipedia to find a source to use would be very useful but to actually cite Wikipedia would be a mistake. Most students should be able to tell if a source is credible or not just by reading it. Being able to tell if it is fiction or faction would be all up to the student. Wikipedia is a site with lots of useful information but the articles on this site are not always correct. Anybody, anywhere and at any time can edit Wikipedia, Shape and mold it to their liking, even if they are ignorant or spiteful with anything that can be found on the site. Allowing people to just edit the site whenever they want causes the site to be unreliable. It’s getting harder to trust in Wikipedia more and more as the years go by, Wikipedia’s greatest flaw is allowing the public to edit its pages and sources. The article “Iffy-pedia” helps support the misuse of Wikipedia and the fact that “60 percent of articles [have] factual errors.” (Oliver 2) In most cases it should take two to five days for something to be changed. The person who wants to change something usually needs approval from a “wiki expert” like Jimmy Wales the creator of Wikipedia. However that is only to make changes to an existing article. When it comes to creating an article from complete scratch there are usually no waits or requirements for Jimmy Wales himself. The sites administrators help add to the deceit “by being too slow to react to those who complain about the errors.” (Oliver 2) So to use Wikipedia as a justifiable source one must do more research on the articles published in Wikipedia, After all would it not be just be a waste of time to find the information you want to use on Wikipedia and then research it again to see if Wikipedia is credible? When it would take half the time to use a more reliable research source just to gather the information you need, instead of figuring out if Wikipedia is correct? Wikipedia, however useful, is not something a student should use, cite, or even waste their time looking for the right information to put on any research paper. We need to first prove that Wikipedia is a credible source to even allow students to cite Wikipedia. When researching credibility for Wikipedia most of us turn to Jimmy Wales. As stated on CNBC.com “whatever your thoughts on the accuracy of Wikipedia, it’s a pretty good bet that it correctly identifies its own founder.”(Carny 1) However Wales is not seen as a credible source on Wikipedia, being the founder of this type of site one would assume that the founder would know how to research something to put on this site. Jimmy Wales is able to change anything he wants on Wikipedia without having to wait for the change to go through. Changing articles and definitions “however, seems not to be in keeping with the standard Wikipedia rules about reliably sourcing information.” (Carny 1) Wikipedia is based on published sources, even though that is the case Wales still has the right to go in and change anything without having anything published on it. Even though Wales might not be a credible source on Wikipedia, he believes that Wikipedia is not a credible source to be cited by students. Students should know the correct sources to use in writing a research paper.
Wikipedia, a more specialized online encyclopedia, can be a useful case study on research in this digital age. One would just have to go to Google and look for anything specific to their research and the very first URL that will pop up will lead you to a Wikipedia page. Wikipedia “has been gradually accepted as a largely accurate and comprehensive