More on Wikipedia

A little while back, I discussed the secret use of Wikipedia and a possible grade Hypocrisy.¬†However, to briefly continue that conversation, the American Historical Association, today, posted an article by historian Peter Webster titled Wikipedia, Authority and the Free rider Problem. The article actually makes many of the same assertions and points that mine did. For instance, he does not accept Wikipedia as a proper source, but believes it to be a reliable source outside of highly loaded topics, and encourages the use of Wikipedia as a way to find sources. Perhaps, if I was a more famous academic then my own blog post could have been posted by the AHA instead of his; or, maybe, I can still get him for plagiarism–joking of course. But regardless, his post is insightful ¬†and I encourage the read. He actually does expand on the idea of experts updating Wikipedia pages so to make them more credible as a communal source, though that would become fairly problematic when considering who gets credit for the labor they put into writing and updating it. That is why Webster considers himself a selfish Wikipedia user, of which my first Wikipedia post accused all of us of being: He takes relentlessly from Wikipedia, giving no credit to the actual author of the page, just the citations at the bottom, and never updates it himself. But what happens if you do update the page and cite your own work as the source? Could that be a way to take credit and expose your own research to wider audiences (if the page isn’t too obscure)?

One thought on “More on Wikipedia

  1. Taulby:
    Thanks for the link to my post about Wikipedia, and your kind words. One correction, though: I didn’t say that I never contributed to Wikipedia, just that I’m not very systematic about it.

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