(Wikipedia, 2008)

This post is aimed at the world of academics and I am sure my views are shared by my fellow undergraduate students.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Harvard Referencing System, the title refers to an intext reference. However you would never see a reference from Wikipedia because it is not an legitimately recognised source. This is of course ignoring the fact that Wikipedia now has over two million articles making it the largest ever encyclopedia. This is also forgetting that this is the most contributed to with over two hundred million edits, creating the most unbiased source of information on the Interweb.

So why can’t this be used as a credible source? To further establish their credibility, Wikipedia has recently implemented a mandatory referencing system, particularly on theory based articles. We’ve also seen Google launch Google Scholar allowing the search for academic based journals and articles.

The way in which we seek information has changed. I am a University student who has never been into the library. So why isn’t it possible to reference the biggest source of information on the Internet? Or a blog? Or a podcast? The Internet is no longer a source people can’t trust.

The academics of today are not living in today’s world where the way in which we communicate has changed.

No Comments
  • Stan Lee
    Posted at April 16, 2008 10:57am, 16 April Reply

    Wikipedia is an issue, but not the issue.

    I was an academic, for a couple of years. I lectured in the advertising degree at RMIT. The world of academia is closed to outside thinking. It’s like the Freemasons, but without the handshake.

    I was the only person on staff who was currently working in industry. I have had 4 creative director jobs and started an agency, so suffice to say I know my stuff.

    All the Uni was interested in was having me publish papers that would be read by one or two people or speak at an academic conference attended by the same people who would read the published paper.

    They hate the internet.

    They hate kids Googling things. They see it as lazy and not proper research.

    They see ad industry courses such as AdSchool and AWARD School as not good enough, because they are taught by people who know what they’re talking about rather than paper publishers and so called researchers.

    I think I need a lie down now…

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at April 16, 2008 4:02pm, 16 April Reply

    Thanks for the insightful comment Stan. You better go lie down.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at April 27, 2008 11:19am, 27 April Reply

    Good one, Zac! As an academic, and a contributor to Wikipedia, I believe it’s time for my colleagues to take a leap into the noughties! Sure, it’s not as reliable as a refereed journal, but it’s certainly more relevant, not to mention the fact that it’s the world’s largest collection of knowledge in one place!

  • Peter Wagstaff
    Posted at May 26, 2008 1:22pm, 26 May Reply

    Hey Zac… did you see the recent news report about Wikipedia? The NSW Board of Studies has listed it as a prescribed “text” for NSW year 12 from 2009… maybe move like that will encourage some of the dinosaurs in Universities to take notice? See the article in The Age here.

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at May 27, 2008 1:44am, 27 May Reply

    Fantastic. I’m sure the adoption rate will be slow but good to see someone is gutsy enough (and smart enough) to give it a try.

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