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Humanist Archives: Jan. 13, 2019, 8:23 a.m. Humanist 32.327 - thoughts on Wikipedia

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 327.
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    [1]    From: Henry Schaffer 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia (12)

    [2]    From: Ken Friedman 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia (25)

    [3]    From: Jim Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia (60)

    [4]    From: John Levin 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia (37)

        Date: 2019-01-12 20:44:41+00:00
        From: Henry Schaffer 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia

I've been using Wikipedia for many years, and find it very useful for
introductory material in many areas - particularly in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Math).

My wife and I have used it so much, that years ago we decided to contribute
$$ to the Foundation to help support this effort.

--henry schaffer

P.S. Hint, hint, ...

        Date: 2019-01-12 18:13:53+00:00
        From: Ken Friedman 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks so much for your thoughts on Wikipedia-. I find these ideas and
reflections helpful.

In a day or two, I will post my own thoughts and the questions I have had in
mind while asking.



Ken Friedman, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in
Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation
| Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| Email ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com |
Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I

        Date: 2019-01-12 16:04:56+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia

I began by forbidding my students from using Wikipedia, but then came
around to telling them that Wikipedia is not a source -- it's a collection
of sources. Check the bibliography, and if it's extensive and draws from
good sources, use it as a starting point or overview. A quick check of a
Wikipedia entry would randomly select a few available sources and see if
they are being accurately represented in the entry. A thorough check would
check every citation, which might be an interesting assignment. But I also
tell students that encyclopedias in general are good sources for high
school papers, but college research papers should rely more on
peer-reviewed material and shouldn't cite encyclopedias or general use
dictionaries, for that matter. Sometimes a Wikipedia entry can be one good
way, among others, to search for peer reviewed material as well. All of
this with the explanation of how it works -- how many (not all) entries are
open to public revision at any time, so at any given moment the same entry
may be more or less reliable depending upon who last revised, which of
course they can check.

Jim R

Dr. James Rovira 
Bright Futures Educational Consulting

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        Date: 2019-01-12 09:51:35+00:00
        From: John Levin 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.322: thoughts on Wikipedia

I use Wikipedia all the time, and indeed do some editing - albeit mainly
minor corrections and adding links to sources. Yes it has drawbacks of
which to be aware, but no source, primary, secondary or tertiary, doesn't.

Recently though, I have found myself using it, and especialy it's sister
projects, as sources of data. For example, the lists of British statutes
are very useful, even if only rather vague short titles are given, and
they are not automatically sortable (yet):

Another example: extracting the co-ordinates of historic areas and
buildings via petscan (eg: London Wards:

And again, Wikicommons has many historical artifacts, for example photos
of c19th Paris:
and historic maps of London:

I have a feeling that this is a major shift in my own practice, though
I've not really theorized this. The increasing number of apps with which
to 'read' Wikipedia - such as petscan above - and (hopefully) their
increasing useability makes me think this will become more common for
more people.



John Levin

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