Wikipedia Validity: Stop Reading and Start Writing Experts!

Karl Fish has a great post commenting on the recent article in the Denver Post that 4 out of 5 experts agree on the accuracy of wikipedia, Karl says.

“..there was no mention of whether any of the scholars contributed to the Wikipedia article they were reviewing…. It’s not like I expect the reviewers to take hours (or days) to clean up the articles, but you would think they might take an extra five or ten minutes to modify a few things since they’re there anyway. It almost seems like the thought never crosses their minds – or at least the mind of the reporter. It seems like such an obvious question to ask, and include the answer in the article.

… I find it interesting that the print version doesn’t include the URL for Wikipedia (much less for the particular topics), and that the online version doesn’t include links.

Here is what I said in response:

I agree – here is the difference — the expert can actually EDIT the entry (novel idea) so that the information IS accurate — can they do that with an encyclopedia? Can they do that with a magazine article?

Experts everywhere should be climbing into wikipedia and editing and not just reviewing.

I think the fact that the experts were asked to read and not write was a Web 2 article written in a very Web 1 way. Perhaps if they had been asked to review and edit and see if the information remained accurate would be a better measure of wikipedia's accuracy.

I had to share, this topic will really get me going!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Karl Fisch May 6, 2007 - 12:44 am

OK, that was a pretty fast post!

I still haven’t heard back from the reporter – I’m hoping that maybe he’s contacting the five scholars and asking them my question about whether they edited their respective articles, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

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