Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Wikipedia is winning!

John Naughton's article in the Observer on 5th April traced Encyclopedia Britannica's problems over the years. Around 1995 Microsoft's Encarta nearly killed it off (remember Encarta?seems so long ago now!) . Now we have the news that Microsoft is shutting down the Encarta sites at the end of 2009. This is largely because Wikipedia has effectively killed Encarta off. Naughton then maintains that the arguments over accuracy of content should be set aside. Instead of complaining about it, academics should be adding to it! As Professor Peter Murray-Rust (University of Cambridge) said recently at a conference in Oxford: "The bit of Wikipedia that I wrote is correct."
I think John Naughton is correct : Wikipedia is "one of the greatest inventions we have.Isn't it time we accepted it? Microsoft has."
Therefore in our IL interventions we should be recommending it as a first port of call for basic information, teaching how to recognise and use a good Wikipedia site and encourage everyone to write and edit sites, thereby learning the perils of information creation.


Rosalyn Metz said...

for any librarians out there that agree, we have prof. at mpow that are using the semester to work with students to write a wikipedia article. it teaches them how to do research and how to write. great assignment.

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