September 17, 2012
Dr. Nick Sherwin
Debating the Credibility and Validity of Wikipedia
Wikipedia bills itself as "the free encyclopedia" consisting of articles that "provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information." These articles are "written collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers who... can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity" (Wikipedia, 2012). This self-description leads to questions regarding the credibility and valididty of its content. A debate held among the members of a University of Phoenix learning team provides insights into this discussion with the inclusion of personal experiences to support or contradict Wikipedia's relaibility.
Propenents of Wikipedia's use cite the website's large and easily available repository of information. Sasha Scott cites the commonality found when comparing the information found on Wikipedia to that on other websites and identifies that "the site is a tertiary source, which means it consists of secondary and primary sources" that can be investigated when a user is skeptical about the data presented. Scott does recognize "that Wikipedia is [not] always a creditable source," believing its "suitability as an academic creditable source depends on what is being cited and for what purpose it is used for" (2012).