I know it’s crunch time for undergraduates, but I found another reason why you shouldn’t use wikipedia for scholarly efforts. It’s OK for personal reasons (how old is Grace Slick now?) or for a first introduction to a topic, but if you are going to take the trouble to write a paper, use reliable sources.
Correction, June 14, 2011 – Now I think you should use wikipedia (with skepticism), expecially for exploring new topics.
From the Irish Times:
A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world.
The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March.
It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after his death and later appeared in obituaries published in the Guardian, the London Independent, on the BBC Music Magazine website and in Indian and Australian newspapers.
“One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head, that only I can hear,” Jarre was quoted as saying.
However, these words were not uttered by the Oscar-winning composer but written by Shane Fitzgerald, a final-year undergraduate student studying sociology and economics at University College Dublin.
Mr Fitzgerald said he placed the quote on the website as an experiment when doing research on globalisation.
He wanted to show how journalists use the internet as a primary source and how people are connected especially through the internet, he said.