Vermont college says history students may not cite Wikipedia as a source


Vermont college says history students may not cite Wikipedia as a source

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) - Middlebury College history students are no longer allowed to use Wikipedia in preparing class papers.

The school’s history department recently adopted a policy that says it’s OK to consult the popular online encyclopedia, but that it can’t be cited as an authoritative source by students.



To be fair, wiki normally has the references as footnotes to where the information is coming from so it’s going to make students look a lot more studious when they cite them directly rather than ths site that gathered the data second-hand!


I’m shocked a history student would end up with an encyclopedia anyways. I thought no encylopedias were obvious!


I am not surprised. Wikipedia is a poor source. I can’t tell you how much wrong information I have seen from that site. Anyone can post pretty much whatever they like there.


I also can’t see why history students would be permitted to cite an encyclopedia anyways.


That’s basically what the article says…

The policy says, in part, "Wikipedia is not an acceptable citation, even though it may lead one to a citable source."
History professor Neil Waters says Wikipedia is an ideal place to start research but an unacceptable way to end it.


I have Britannica loaded on my laptop. Each Britannica article has its own footnote in three different foremats.

However, even Britannica can’t be trusted. It has my home town (Elkhart, Indiana) located west of South Bend, while in fact it is about 15 miles east.



…which is exactly the correct attitude, imo, with Wikipedia, and it is precisely how I use it.

I will use it as a link if I’m feeling lazy and I know from other sources that the information there is correct, but I don’t use it as an originating source.



If Middlebury leads, will Norwich be far behind?

Not to mention Bennington, the four state colleges, Marlboro, UVM, Champlain, St. Joseph, Green Mountain, St. Michael’s, etc?



Hehe the best way is to do a Google booksearch…you get great quote and a great source


I know a professor that will not allow her students to use Wiki as a source. I think this is a good thing personally. Wiki is just not stable enough, it’s too easy to change the information.


Exactly, I have a degree in history, and well as a history student, your expected to dig just a bit deeper than an encyclopedia. :rolleyes: So if this is gaining controversy why?


As a history professor, I vote… :thumbsup: …for all the above reasons.


That is what I was thinking with people were talking about the reliability of Wikipedia. I have found plenty of errors in the Britannica.


Why shouldn’t a student be allowed to cite a legit encyclopedia? Aren’t they compiled by respected researchers? (Elkhart author notwithstanding:p )


I never knew Wikipedia was acceptable as a source anywhere. It is too unreliable. There must not be very many interesting things happening in the world if they actually reported on this…


Scholastic work should reference only primary and secondary sources (the information itself, or works devoted entirely to that information). Encyclopediae are tertiary sources – digests, even further removed from the actual data being considered. They’re good for ideas, but not citations.


Wiki is a great place to begin research. I use it for nearly everything. Theres usually enough links there to further knowledge of a subject. I love Wikipedia.


Dude this is scary. Your a history major and born like a month before me. Too freaky!

But yes I too would never have used Wikipedia as a source. You had to do the research yourself. Can’t tell you the number of times i had to dig through the library looking for books that people haden’t touched in years to find a source. History papers don’t get writing very fast. You have to do research, anyalize that source and not just quote it…Can’t do that with an encylopedia or the internet.


so what? no encyclopedia or similar reference work should be cited as a source by anyone doing academic research over the middle school level.

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