U. of Kansas: “Students Are Urged to Stay Away from Wikipedia and Google for Research”
“Don’t use Wikipedia,” is the caution that every freshman in Dr. Susan K. Thomas’s English 102 class is altogether too used to hearing. Thomas, who has taught writing research papers to undergraduate students at KU since 2005, has watched students’ research techniques evolve as the Internet has made information and resources more accessible.
“Unfortunately, the students have become lazier,” Dr. Susan K. Thomas said. “They want the quick answer — they want to be able to Google it. They want things to be handed to them more.”
Googling, Thomas said, is an easy place to get research ideas but its results must be searched through more reliable databases like JSTOR. Despite high resource standards, Thomas too begins her research by running ideas through Google and Wikipedia.
“Wikipedia is an excellent place to start research but you can’t stop there,” said Erin Ellis, the Head of Libraries Instructional Services at Anschutz Library. “A lot of times, those entries will have really good bibliographies at the end. Those are the resources that students should be looking at.”
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.