Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WIkipedia Annotated Bibliography

Here is the annotated bibliography for our Wikipedia presentation.

General Wikipedia Information

Binkley, P. "Wikipedia Grows Up." Feliciter 52.2 (2006): 59-61.
The article provides information on Wikipedia, a multilingual Internet encyclopedia. Wikipedia aims to be a multilingual free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality. One of the disadvantages of Wikipedia that critics raised is its openness. However, Wikipedia has much to offer even in the realm of politics.

Graff, K. "Wikipedia Will Change the World." Booklist 102.16 (2006): 76.
The author explains how Wikipedia is democratic in nature. He believes the model of Wikipedia can be used in multiple settings and is an example to be followed (e.g., in classroom settings). Wikipedia is just one of many sources that can be used, and is not a threat to encyclopedias like Britannica.

“History of Wikipedia.” Wikipedia. 2006. Wikipedia. 4 November 2006.
The entry of “history of Wikipedia” on the Wikipedia website gives a brief overview of the history and growth of Wikipedia. This includes information on how the project began, the international expansion of Wikipedia, the marketing of Wiki- products in other forms of media, and some of the conflicts that have occurred in Wikipedia’s past.

Wikipedia as a Reference Resource and Educator

Barack, L. “A Wiki War on Vandals.” School Library Journal 52.5 (2006): 24.
This short article focuses on how Wikipedia vandals are dealt with. Those who intentionally insert errors can be faced with anything from a warning, to temporary blocking, or expulsion from the site if necessary.

Effert, Robert. “Wikipedia, the Review." School Library Journal 52.3 (2006): 82-85.
This SLJ review examines the accuracy, readability, and scope of Wikipedia compared to traditional online reference sources and examines a side-by side comparison. Although Wikipedia entries are general extensive and well-researched, the inconsistencies and confusing text and page structure make it unreliable as sole source of information.

Ishizuka, K. “The Wikipedia Wars.” School Library Journal 50.11 (2004): 24-5.
Again, this article stresses that although Wikipedia is more reliable than many other online resources, it should not be used in isolation. It can also serve as a teachable moment to help students develop critical thinking skills when using online information resources.

McPherson, Keith. “Wikis and Literacy Development.” Teacher Librarian 34.1(2006):
This article examines four areas educators need to keep in mind when exposing students to public wikis: reading levels, internet access, learning objectives, and information quality. The reading level on public wikis may be high, but the interactive texts can encourage students to raise their literacy level. Again, the article discusses that if used, the teacher/librarian must make teaching how to evaluate the information a priority.

Miller, B. X., et. al. “I Want My Wikipedia!” Library Journal 131.6 (2006): 122, 124
Three Library Journal reviewers examine Wikipedia in relation to its information on pop culture, current affairs, and science. What they found was that Wikipedia entries on pop culture are extensive and well-researched and great care is taken to ensure the validity and objectivity of current affair entries. However, entries relating to science were inconsistent and poorly researched. The main idea here is that a user needs to consider exactly how they are intending to use this resource.

Wikipedia for Academic Research?

Rosenzweig, R. “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past.” Journal of American History 93.1 (2006):117-147.
In this article, Rosenzweig, a historian, examines the history of Wikipedia, explains its editorial process, and considers whether open-source internet projects, particularly Wikipedia, can work for the creation of a good historical resource. He argues that “professional” historians can’t simply dismiss Wikipedia; after all, their students use it (and even cite it) regularly. Instead, he offers a critique of its values and limitations, and asks his fellow historians to consider contributing to it. On the positive side, the author writes, Wikipedia is free and often accurate. On the negative side, many entries include quirky, interesting facts that aren’t necessarily important; he calls it “popular” history. Also, entries often include new, controversial interpretations of historical events, interpretations that haven’t withstood the test of time. This is a worthwhile, in-depth (30 page) article that future college and university librarians will find particularly relevant.

Nicholson, P. J. “The Changing Role of Intellectual Authority.” ARL 247 (2006): 1-5.
Peter Nicholson, in these remarks given at an ARL (Association of Research Libraries) meeting in May 2006, discusses sweeping changes in the information-seeking behaviors of students and faculty. He asserts that these changes are due to two main factors. First, as a society we are less willing these days to defer to any authority, including intellectual authority. Second, globalization and the World Wide Web have led to a glut of information that is increasingly difficult to manage, evaluate and synthesize. He calls our new information world an “infosphere” and identifies Wikipedia as a necessary “species” within it. Wikipedia, Nicholson concludes, “provides a great first cut at coherently organized material plus a good set of relevant links.” The role of research libraries is to take it from there.

Wikipedia and False Information

Seigenthaler, J. “A False Wikipedia ‘biography.’” Wikipedia Watch. 1 Nov. 2006.
Seigenthaler, a journalist and fierce defender of First Amendment rights, was the victim of an incorrect, defamatory entry on Wikipedia, in which it was suggested that he was involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. While many incorrect entries are corrected quickly on Wikipedia, this entry remained unchanged for 132 days. In this op-ed article, Seigenthaler argues that Wikipedia, with its “anonymous volunteer vandals” is an irresponsible enterprise. He also points out that other reference services, including and, take much of their information from Wikipedia, thereby reproducing any false information contained in Wikipedia’s entries

Bates, M. E. “Truth and Fiction on the Web.” Online 30.2 (2006): 64.
Bates, a private information professional, offers two examples of the spreading of false information on the Web. She suggests that one role of “info pros” is to help information consumers identify and verify the good, the bad and the ugly out there. One way to do this, she tells us, is by checking and correcting articles on Wikipedia.


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