1. ianmoseley

    ianmoseley New Member

    On the wikipedia site I found an article about John Paul Hammerschmidt, quoting his degree from Canbourne University, which linked to blank page.

    The temptation was too much and I put some information referring to Canbourne as a degree mill.

    I looked back a few days later and somebody had altered it to claim that Canbourne was an online university based in London with x thousand studens.

    I then amended this to point out that it was only supposedly based in London, and that there several problems with the site, including a false address.

    It has now been altered to state that it is an American registered institution and therefore authorised to issue US degrees and that it is easily contactable by e-mail..


    I have again amended this- childish, I know, but this sort of verbal ping-pong has its amusement value.

    I have not checked wikipedia for other information on our usual suspects, but these comments do seem to be drawing them out!.

    So far there has been no attempt to amend the details on the comments page, which give the facts of the matter, however it does occur to me that, since they now claim to be an American Institution and they are giving false information on the site that there might be grounds for action by the US authorities.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A student in a management class I'm currently teaching cited a wiki site as a reference in a paper. No way. I noted that the source was not a credible one since there was no way to determine the author's credentials, there was no authoritative editing/selecting process, and the author him/herself was anonymous.

    Wikis are meant to be informative, and there is a lot of good information available--if one stays in uncontested areas. But they're also a haven for those who would deceive.
  3. jouster

    jouster New Member

    Indeed. As Rich notes, they most certainly fall far short of the rigor required for academic citation - which is a shame, as many are obviously written by academics. But there you are....
  4. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    I find a great deal of the Internet credibility as shady at best. Even B&M media outlets intermingle opinion and facts on their websites to such an extent, to lend credibility is almost laughable. This is why I usually discount someone who supports their facts with a link (as if someone else's opinion makes your opinion more valid)
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I use Wikipedia all the time, and have made enough minor edits to articles to consider myself a Wikipedian, if a lesser one.

    I think its best use is as a way of gaining cursory familiarity with a non-controversial topic. However, as far as the academic setting, yes, I've cited Wikipedia's articles in papers in grad school without rebuke from faculty. While I would use it as a source, for the reasons mentioned I wouldn't use it as my only source. But then, who'd use only one thing as his only source in a serious paper? Besides, we use personal conversations, and those can't be reproduced. So I think it's fine.

  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Just illustrating absurdity by being absurd

    Oh yeah? Well that's stupid!

  7. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Re: Just illustrating absurdity by being absurd

    Now - that was hilarious! Made my day. Thanks!
  8. Jacques

    Jacques New Member


    I tried adding a few things to Wikipedia. One of the entries was about the history of a US Navy Ship, and I used public domain information, specifically the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. I might add, the history of this particular ship is hardly considered by most a "controversial subject".

    Within seconds of posting, my article was immediately flagged as a copyright violation.

    In the talk section, I tried to explain to the editors (2 of them), that just because someone put up public domain information on another website, it doesn't mean that it's a copyright violation.

    Those 2 editors acted like some crazed cult members. I could not reason with them. I even pointed out Wikipedia's terms of service about US Government publications and public domain, but it did not compute with them. I find some of the editors crazed zealots who cannot think for themselves, and seemed only concerned with rising within the "cult" of Wikipedia.

    I applaud Rich for not allowing his student to use Wikipedia as a source in his management class. But what about in our public schools? I know of several cases in high schools where the teachers are allowing students to use Wikipedia as a primary reference!

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2005

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