Learning in a digital age/LiDA101/Select open resources/Reliability of Wikipedia

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Wikipedia is the free online encyclopedia created through collaborative effort of contributors from around the globe. Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world. When conducting general Internet searches, Wikipedia articles will frequently be listed in the top results.

Anyone registered on the Wikipedia site can create a new article page. Anyone can edit a Wikipedia article, and registration is not required to edit existing articles.

There have been a number of studies examining the accuracy of Wikipedia articles. Notwithstanding the outcomes of these studies, many educational institutions will not accept the use of Wikipedia as a credible source for academic writing and research. In this section we invite learners to evaluate whether Wikipedia is a trustworthy resource and to form a justified opinion on its use as a reliable resource for academic writing.

We commence with an opinion poll on the reliability of Wikipedia and then invite you to annotate and comment on a few online articles on the topic. Finally, you will be invited to apply your knowledge on evaluating online resources to inform your use of Wikipedia for academic purposes.

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Opinion poll

Consider the following statement:

Wikipedia is a reliable source for academic study

Log in to forums.oeru.org and indicate the extent that you agree with this statement.

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Readings and annotations


  1. Log in to Hypothes.is and post annotations and replies as appropriate to the suggested readings below. (Remember to include the course tag: LiDA101 in your post.)
    • If there are a large number of public posts, click on the search icon () and enter the course code (LiDA101) to filter posts for this course from the public feed.

Readings for annotation

Optional reading annotations

Conduct a search for credible and reliable resources on the topic of the reliability and credibility of Wikipedia articles. Annotate and comment on the resource(s) you have found. (Remember to include the course tag: LiDA101 in your post, so that it can be shared via the course feed.)

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Drawing on your study of the reliability and credibility of online resources share your advice to fellow learners on this course regarding use of Wikipedia for academic purposes by posting a comment on WENotes. For example:

  • You can use Wikipedia for ... because ...
  • You should not use Wikipedia for ... because ...

Note: Your comment will be displayed in the course feed.