Argument: No encyclopedia (including Wikipedia) is a reliable primary source

Issue Report: Is Wikipedia valuable?


Burt Helm. “Wikipedia: ‘A Work in Progress'”. Newsmaker Q&A. December 14th, 2005 – “[Burt Helm:] Do you think students and researchers should cite Wikipedia?

[Jimmy Whales, Founder of Wikipedia:] No, I don’t think people should cite it, and I don’t think people should cite Britannica, either — the error rate there isn’t very good. People shouldn’t be citing encyclopedias in the first place. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias should be solid enough to give good, solid background information to inform your studies for a deeper level. And really, it’s more reliable to read Wikipedia for background than to read random Web pages on the Internet.”

“Is Wikipedia criticism justified?”. Random Ratiocination. July 10, 2006 – “Second, Wikipedia should be treated as what it truly is, not as what we’d like it to be in an idealized universe. What Wikipedia is, is an unimaginably broad repository of community-edited documents that is generally accurate on most matters. What it is not is the final word on a subject that bears the reputation of well-known editors or publishers behind it. Sure it would be nice if Wikipedia could also have the latter characteristics but it does not; if a reader assumes that it does, the fault likes with the reader, not with Wikipedia.”