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.
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 http://buff.ly/1A48e9Q