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Wikipidia Not a Source of Credible Information

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tuesday247
Words 973
Pages 4
Is Wikipedia a credible source of information? From learning experience I was involved in a project where I had to research parent and subsidiary information for corporate entities and document my findings. After the research results were documented I had to create records for every subsidiary entity that rolled up to the ultimate parent company. A research list was provided for the research efforts and list noted was that the Wikipedia website was only to be utilized as a reference point as the data was not credible. Wikipedia was a source to obtain preliminary data and as a cross reference tool as some of the information was either contradictory or not available. Some of the required information required entity's complete name, headquarter address, corporate structure/shareholder information and subsidiaries. A good portion of the data was found through the Edgar website which is a site were "All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Here you'll find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database." http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml

Another website referenced was the entity's website which mirrored the information found on the Edgar or any other regulatory website. Wikipedia was not included as a source in our documentation reports as it was only used as a quick reference for further research. We always prioritized legal and regulatory documentation.

If the data in Wikipedia is dubious one can only imagine what it would be in another language for those trying to learn from the country's culture, language or politics. It's a website where individuals write what they think and or believe to be accurate and or true. These individuals might not be subject matter experts on the topic and or have enough information to document it on Wikipedia. What these pen writers think they know may not necessarily be accurate.
'The reliability of Wikipedia (primarily of the English-language edition), compared to other encyclopedias and more specialized sources, is assessed in many ways, including statistically, through comparative review, analysis of the historical patterns, and strengths and weaknesses inherent in the editing process unique to Wikipedia.[1]
Several studies have been done to assess the reliability of Wikipedia. A notable early study in the journal Nature said that in 2005, Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors".[2] The study by Nature was disputed by Encyclopædia Britannica,[3] and later Nature responded to this refutation with both a formal response and a point-by-point rebuttal of Britannica's main objections.[4] Between 2008 and 2010, articles in medical and scientific fields such as pathology,[5]toxicology,[6]oncology[7] and pharmaceuticals[8] comparing Wikipedia to professional and peer-reviewed sources found that Wikipedia's depth and coverage were of a high standard. Concerns regarding readability were raised in a study published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.[9] However, omissions sometimes remained an issue, at times due to public relations removal of adverse product information.[citation needed]
Wikipedia is open to anonymous and collaborative editing, so assessments of its reliability usually include examinations of how quickly false or misleading information is removed. An early study conducted by IBM researchers in 2003—two years following Wikipedia's establishment—found that "vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly — so quickly that most users will never see its effects"[10] and concluded that Wikipedia had "surprisingly effective self-healing capabilities".[11] A 2007 peer-reviewed study stated that "42% of damage is repaired almost immediately... Nonetheless, there are still hundreds of millions of damaged views."[12]
Several incidents have also been publicized in which false information has lasted for a long time in Wikipedia. In May 2005, a user edited the biographical article on John Seigenthaler Sr. so that it contained several false and defamatory statements.[13] The inaccurate information went unnoticed until September 2005, when they were discovered by a friend of Seigenthaler. After the information was removed from Wikipedia, it remained for another three weeks on websites which mirror Wikipedia content.[14] A biographical article in French Wikipedia portrayed Léon-Robert de L’Astran as an 18th century anti-slavery ship owner, which led Ségolène Royal, a presidential candidate, to praise him. A student investigation later determined that the article was a hoax and de L’Astran had never existed.[15]...’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

If the information on Wikipedia is accurate but not be in its entirety how can one make an accurate assessment and or decision based on partial information? Partial information does not equal to an exact result which in turn lead to poor decision making/assessment.

Some find Wikipedia to be a credible source when searching for information. Yet, when searching for information such for academic assignments then the information should come from credible sources, which seem contradictory. If the information is believed to be credible on Wikipedia then why go the extra step for further research? Conversely, then Wikipedia would be considered as the go to source, just not the starting point. This leads me to conclude that Wikipedia is not a credible source to obtain credible data based on. For the most part Wikipedia does provides helpful sources to further assist when researching a topic but that does not prove that the information on Wikipedia itself is accurate.

I can agree that some of the information on Wikipedia is accurate but not in its entirety. In order To make a sound decision all the information must be provided. Inaccuracies and or omitting information does not prove the information to be correct. Partial information does not equal an exact result which may lead to poor decision making.

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