Wikipedia has not always had the best of reps amongst academics … and that is probably putting it mildly ! The reasons are many and varied. I just searched for “why do academics hate Wikipedia ?” and got reasons including:
- “coz it iz smarter than they iz !” (obviously written by a future Nobel Laureate for Literature)
- detailed and well thought out discussions on it being a tertiary source, susceptable to innacuracy
- suggestions that it is not as easy to control and restrict to officially sanctioned thoughts and opinions
It was interesting to note, mind you, that most of the anti-Wikipedia commentary was getting rather long in the tooth. Maybe it is safe to say that actually Wikipedia isn’t as disliked now as it used to be ?
So … to aid the thawing process a little more, please allow me to bring to your attention the Wikipedia Education Programme. It caught my eye as something potentially interesting as I was reading the first part of this post by Alan Levine. He talks about work done by a Canadian Academic called Tina Loo, who worked with her students and got involved researching, writing and editing Wikipedia articles as part of their assessment.
I rather like that. What do you think ?