Should Students Cite Wikipedia in their Academic Papers?

Should College Students Cite Wikipedia in their Academic Papers? The short answer is "no." Do they use it. You bet.

Wikipedia Tutorial: a guide for students When I attended the NEJM Horizons conference last October, I was surprised to hear medical students reporting that their colleagues use Wikipedia as a medical reference text. The wiki platform has a place in medical education but Wikipedia does not require any expert knowledge or credentials verification to contribute. A Wikipedia article is often in the top 5 of Google search results for many queries and the path of least resistance for most searchers is to focus only on the first page of results. This is not a good search (and research) pattern for future physicians, in my opinion. References: Should College Students Cite Wikipedia in their Academic Papers? Amit Agarwal, 2009. NEJM Horizons Conference to Push Boundaries of Traditional Medical Publishing, Day 1 Is Wikipedia a reliable learning resource for medical students? No, according to Advances in Physiology Education

1 comment:

  1. The role for wikipedia is when you're a 3rd year (in the US) and the attending says something (usually a disease process or technical term) and you have no idea what it means. Unless you see an NIH page or something, wikipedia is a reasonably good bet to find out what the attending is talking about in a short enough time period that you could do it in the time it takes to walk from one patient to the next.


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