More news about Wikipedia. Cal Tech graduate student Virgil Griffith has created a now rather famous website called Wikiscanner that allows you to gain a snapshot of which organizations and persons are editing articles on Wikipedia. Virgil is rather forthcoming about his motivation, but the end result of his project opens up many questions about how we perceive, trust, and scrutinize online information. Here are some other blog posts and articles that help round out the discussion:
- Computing Wikipedia’s Authority by Marc Meola at the ACRLog
- The Trouble with Anonymity on the Web by Annalee Newitz
So what does this mean for you as a Regis University student? First, you have a wealth of quality electronic and print information sources available to you via the Regis Libraries, and they are worth exploring! You might feel very comfortable using Google to find information on the Web, but the library has much scholarly content to offer that you cannot find using Google. Plus, you’re paying for these sources and services with your tuition, so you might as well use them! Second, take the time to compare a peer reviewed journal article or book you find in the library with an entry from Wikipedia. Ask yourself these questions: What are the differences? What are the appropriate uses for each type of source? Who do you trust and why? We can’t stress it enough, but in today’s world students need to be information literate and gain the critical and analytical skills necessary to evaluate information and its sources. These skills also transcend the student experience into work and other areas of life. For more on this, check out Distant Services Librarian Tom Riedel’s article Are Wikipedia and Google Scholar the Devil?