Is Wikipedia a Legitimate Research Source
Is Wikipedia a Legitimate Research Source27 September 2012
The Internet has evolved from a business use-protocol to a necessity at home and an invaluable tool to college students worldwide. Since the boom of the Information Superhighway, otherwise known as the Internet, anonymous credibility has been given to anyone with access to the Internet. Before the Internet became what it is today, college professors required the use of the library for research and encyclopedias for accredited facts from known contributors to today’s society. It is said that, “Once upon a time, Encyclopedia Britannica recruited Einstein, Freud, Curie, Mencken and even Houdini as contributors. The names helped the encyclopedia bolster its credibility.”(Stross 331) The new millennium of college students has since abandoned the gothic ruins of brick and mortar for modern technology. Hence, as an evolving community of college students, we must consider the use of websites such as Wikipedia for credible sources or not use them at all.
The Internet contains a history of creditable sources. It also contains a legacy of anonymous sources. We have relied on the reviews and opinions of others to prove the validity of said information on the Internet and stop challenging it when we read the answer that strikes a chord in our cognitive judgments. If this process continues to be the norm, printed sources such as encyclopedias will leave people saying “This was written by one person? Then looked at by only two or three other people? How can I trust that process?” (Stross 332)
Websites such as Wikipedia have become a challenging debate amongst students and professors to be of use as a creditable source from the Internet. This kind of trend has evolved because of history. History can always be re-examined and edited. Wikipedia has proven, through its supervising editors, that history is a set of events in a place and time that can be edited based on facts and creditable sources to “enhance the encyclopedia’s reputation.”(Stross 332) How can...