Using Wikipedia for Academic Research (CLIP)

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Using Wikipedia for Academic Research (CLIP)


Do you know that you can use Wikipedia when
doing academic research? Wikipedia? Yep, Wikipedia. You shouldn’t cite Wikipedia as a source
in your research paper. And no, it’s not because Wikipedia is a bad source for information. The reason you shouldn’t use it as a source
for your paper is because it is just an encyclopaedia. College level work requires more sophisticated
source materials such as books and journal articles. In fact, a 2005 study by the journal Nature
showed that Wikipedia is as accurate as Encyclopaedia Brittanica. If you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia in your
paper how can you use it for academic research? When you know more about your topic, you can
use that information when you search in other places like the Internet and the library. As you read through a Wikipedia entry write
down: topic phrases, names of organizations, names of people, relevant dates, and related
items or issues. The reason for this is to generate a list of keywords and phrases you
can use when searching for sources on your topic. For Example: Here is the entry for the gamma-ray
burst and here is a list of key words and related terms from the entry: gamma-ray bursts,
GRBs, electromagnetic events, supernova. You can use these keywords to search the web,
your library catalog, databases or other resources. While Wikipedia entries can be edited by anyone,
they do include citations with links to the original information. Citations can link to
web pages, articles, books and a variety of other sources. You can see a list of the citations used at
the end of a Wikipedia article in the references section. If the citations are for articles
and books, do any authors seem to be listed several times? Bloom would be a good example
in this list. Save their name to your list of keywords. When you click on a reference link, it takes
you to the original source. In this case an article on naked-eye observations
from Astrophysical Journal is used as a reference. This article and many other references in
this list could be great sources to use in your paper. Do not assume that everything
in the list is peer-reviewed or scholarly, you will need to evaluate each source to be
sure it suits the needs of your assignment. At the end of the Wikipedia entry, you will
also find a list of External Links. These are typically links to related information
such as web sites, projects, and organizations. In this case, a mission website from NASA
on observing gamma-ray bursts. While you wouldn’t use Wikipedia as a source
for your paper, you can see how it can lead to many quality books, articles, magazines,
news reports, and websites that are just right. So, Wikipedia can be used for academic research
after all. Here is a quick list of things to remember: Wikipedia shouldn’t be used
as a source for your paper, it is good for background information, you can use it to
create a list of phrases, organizations, people, dates, and related terms, use these terms
when searching for information on your topic, look at the Reference and External Links sections
at the end of the Wikipedia entries for sources you can cite in your research.

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