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  • Hi Group!Sorry for the late entry. I couldn't find this darn Wiki!! I was looking for a link that said "Wiki" but it was right under my nose! Anyway, this discussion about Wikis is very interesting! I have found some of my former professors in the MDE program had no problems with me citing articles from Wikipedia, while others chastised me for doing so. I have since stopped as it is hard to vaildate the realiabilty of the information. Anybody had access to post information on Wikipedia and who is regulating this information? That's my two cents!

    Sarah Gauvreau June 23, 2009 - 4:20pm

  • Academic discourse relies heavily on prior knowledge (citations), and so it's important that the citations be stable. Also, entries in Wikipedia are not always coming from authority. Therefore, I'd say that Wikipedia is fundamentally incompatible with the traditional academic approach.That said, is there a place in academia for the dynamic knowledge that's available at Wikipedia? Wikipedia's content is evolutionary and adaptive, which tells me that in the long run, an entry is undergoing constant refinement. Traditional encyclopedias do this too, but at a much greater expense. The 2008 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica may contain data that's later disputed, but the correction may not show up until the 2010 edition. Wikipedia can correct itself within days, or faster.Wikipedia On Using Wikipedia as a Reference Tool:"Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information. Indeed, many articles start their lives as partisan; and, after a long process of discussion, debate, and argument, they gradually take on a neutral point of view reached through consensus. Others may, for a while, become caught up in a heavily unbalanced viewpoint which can take some time%u2014months perhaps%u2014to achieve better balanced coverage of their subject...eventually, additional editors expand and contribute to articles and strive to achieve balance and comprehensive coverage. In addition, Wikipedia operates a number of internal resolution processes that can assist when editors disagree on content and approach. Usually, the editors eventually reach a consensus on ways to improve the article".This strikes me as a much more democratic way to archive and share knowledge than an encyclopedia written by a single publisher.Steve

    Steven Sauve June 22, 2009 - 10:46am

  • Hi gang, Wiki's, they sound great for co-ordinating activities or even compiling course information that can be tapped later. As for the issue of whether or not they should be allowed in citations. I think, why not? You can cite a newspaper and they have just as big a chance of getting information wrong as a wiki. In fact I have a story for you. In the summer of 1997 I was onboard the HMCS PROVIDER (one of our Canadian Ships) in Florida just after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The local paper had a front page article devoted to the story including details of her funeral which included the statement that Diana, was to be buried at West Minister Abbey. The same resting place, the paper said, of Catherine of Aragron another Princess of Wales who had been beheaded by her husband King Henry the VIII! This from a very large city newspaper. Cohen's article is interesting, but I would have to say in the matter of the students who got the question wrong... , using wiki as your only source for information is bad study practice. However, using wiki to enhance and perhaps help simplify a concept or thought, sounds like a good idea to me.Tatiana

    Tatiana Osmond June 19, 2009 - 6:42pm

  • Hi Viviane, good topic discussion. I was just yammering away in 601 about the lack of validity and reliability in so many places on the net (as compared with the good old reliable, well structured and systems oriented library). Wikis included. That being said I agree with Steve about his $10 notion of conceptual legitimacy, it's not always necessary to share ideas and see other people's perspectives! If academic in nature and the quality of the posts needs to be higher for research purposes, private wikis are an option. Viviane I also like your idea that the public forum generates some heat and criticism of its own for ideas shared by other humans, authenticity as you call it. I think one of the reasons many shy away from Wikis are the privacy issues, and the fact that there are negative people with access to them if they are public. I think violations of integrity and personal attacks are rare in most Wikis, overall I'm in favour of public sharing of ideas, references and perspectives. I try not to post anything illegal but I can't always guarantee inoffensive, it's such a subjective grey area.

    Jenni Hayman June 19, 2009 - 10:51am