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(Science News Magazine)   Wikipedia has become a science reference source even though scientists don't cite it [citation needed]   ( sciencenews.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Academic publishing, Wikipedia, Science, scientific papers, Scientific literature, Open access, Wikipedia articles, new Wikipedia articles  
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598 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Feb 2018 at 11:05 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-05 10:18:13 AM  
Technically, it is peer-reviewed.
 
2018-02-05 10:49:18 AM  

johnsoninca: Technically, it is peer-reviewed.


A very interesting point. While you can laugh at the notion of amateurs reviewing science content on Wikipedia, so many cases of bullshiat have been discovered to have passed peer review and been published by recognized and esteemed scientific publications

I think keeping those articles behind costly paywalls only helps foster the ignorance of the layman while helping bullshiat research gain acceptance and credibility
 
2018-02-05 10:50:57 AM  

rcain: johnsoninca: Technically, it is peer-reviewed.

A very interesting point. While you can laugh at the notion of amateurs reviewing science content on Wikipedia, so many cases of bullshiat have been discovered to have passed peer review and been published by recognized and esteemed scientific publications

I think keeping those articles behind costly paywalls only helps foster the ignorance of the layman while helping bullshiat research gain acceptance and credibility


I bolded... yes, scientists have purposely published complete BS just to prove how poor these publications are.  I don't think I'd trust Wikipedia less.
 
2018-02-05 11:15:21 AM  
In school i used it to lead to a source or two and learn what proquest search terms to use.
 
2018-02-05 11:21:53 AM  

eriphila: In school i used it to lead to a source or two and learn what proquest search terms to use.


Exactly. Since wiki cites a lot of primary sources, it's an excellent place to find a whole lot of already-collected research. Use it as the starting point, not an endpoint.

// and sometimes, they summarize something so succinctly it's useful to steal a phrase or two
// but cite it, you jackals
 
2018-02-05 11:24:08 AM  
Wikipedia is not the primary source of the information/idea, and citing it would be inappropriate in many cases. If you want to click on the wikipedia citation, read the original article, make sure the info is in THERE and that it isn't referencing something else, and verify that the original said what you think it said, good. You read the original paper, now cite that.
Few things are more annoying than reading a paper and seeing something interesting, then following that citation back 4 or 5 papers because people are improperly citing (e.g. citing wikipedia) and then finding out the original article said something different and people playing "telephone" for years has distorted the original idea.
 
2018-02-05 11:26:16 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Exactly. Since wiki cites a lot of primary sources, it's an excellent place to find a whole lot of already-collected research. Use it as the starting point, not an endpoint.

// and sometimes, they summarize something so succinctly it's useful to steal a phrase or two
// but cite it, you jackals


There's a good chance that an actual review paper, or book chapter, says it just as well or better, and is aimed at an educated reader, which is likely very useful for getting things right.
 
2018-02-05 11:37:59 AM  

Dr Dreidel: eriphila: In school i used it to lead to a source or two and learn what proquest search terms to use.

Exactly. Since wiki cites a lot of primary sources, it's an excellent place to find a whole lot of already-collected research. Use it as the starting point, not an endpoint.

// and sometimes, they summarize something so succinctly it's useful to steal a phrase or two
// but cite it, you jackals


Probably this phrasing is getting published because some grad student copied from Wikipedia and didn't care, or forgot to later rephrase his placeholder text.
 
2018-02-05 12:16:04 PM  

WelldeadLink: Probably this phrasing is getting published because some grad student copied from Wikipedia and didn't care, or forgot to later rephrase his placeholder text.


Ctrl-F, XXX
"aw crap, i forgot one"
 
2018-02-05 12:16:39 PM  
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 12:17:35 PM  
When working on my last graduate degree, the first thing they said was "No Wiki." You drunk uncle is more reliable.
 
2018-02-05 12:41:31 PM  

edmo: When working on my last graduate degree, the first thing they said was "No Wiki." You drunk uncle is more reliable.


I don't have a drunk uncle, so I made one up so that I have a more reliable source.
 
2018-02-05 01:07:14 PM  

ThatGuyOverThere: Wikipedia is not the primary source of the information/idea, and citing it would be inappropriate in many cases. If you want to click on the wikipedia citation, read the original article, make sure the info is in THERE and that it isn't referencing something else, and verify that the original said what you think it said, good. You read the original paper, now cite that.
Few things are more annoying than reading a paper and seeing something interesting, then following that citation back 4 or 5 papers because people are improperly citing (e.g. citing wikipedia) and then finding out the original article said something different and people playing "telephone" for years has distorted the original idea.


This.  If you don't have a strong knowledge base in a certain topic heading to wiki and going source diving in their citations can be really, really helpful.  Hell, even if you do have a strong knowledge base it can be a nice jump start if you just need a few more publications that you don't know off hand.

But, like you said, always go to the citation and make sure it says what it says.  It is INCREDIBLY annoying when its not the case.
 
2018-02-05 01:16:40 PM  
Something worth mentioning is that subject-matter experts have a different relationship to the material than do novices. I can look at Wikipedia articles within my expertise and determine pretty quickly whether the stuff written on there is legitimate or not. For example, I might want to look up a specific piece of information or concept that I can't remember off the top of my head, so I go to Wikipedia and get the answer. It's immediately apparent whether that is or could be the right answer. If the answer seems wrong then I can go to a secondary source and cross-check.

Wikipedia serves as the source for a lot of "non-citeable" information.
 
2018-02-05 01:25:25 PM  
Quoting wikipedia comes with one problem:  it is under continual editing.
What you quoted can be changed later, making the reference useless.
I write reports, but won't use wiki as the ref, I will use thier quoted ref, after checking it.
Published is published and "fixed".  Wikipedia is fluid, hence kinda useless as a reference.
 
2018-02-05 01:52:56 PM  
Someone needs to introduce the author to linguistics so they can stop panicking over how language changes.
 
2018-02-05 01:56:18 PM  

Wicked Chinchilla: But, like you said, always go to the citation and make sure it says what it says.  It is INCREDIBLY annoying when its not the case.


Paraphrased conversation from a little bit back
Reviewer: "You need to add ABC to your discussion, recommend looking at paper PDQ"
PI: "Write something up, cite it"
Me: "I'll write something up, but I'll cite XYZ instead, since it's not actually in PDQ"
PI: "are you saying the reviewer lied, or is wrong?"
Me: "I'm saying it's not actually in PDQ, but PDQ has a discussion of it based on XYZ. XYZ actually has data and a figure, which reviewer is mentioning."
PI: "reviewer said we should cite PDQ"
Me: "I'm just letting you know that reviewer is either wrong, or is the author of PDQ and is taking credit for the idea in XYZ. If it was from the same research group I wouldn't have mentioned it, but it's from different authors at different institutions"
PI: "But the reviewer said we should cite PDQ..."
Me: "You're senior on this, it's your call. I've told you what I found and what I think about the issue."

Of course, this was the same PI that insisted we could never use google and that only pubmed was an acceptable way to search for papers, even though google scholar (when used right) was waaaay better, faster, and easier - and the university libraries were tied in with google scholar...
 
2018-02-05 02:08:49 PM  

bemused outsider: Quoting wikipedia comes with one problem:  it is under continual editing.
What you quoted can be changed later, making the reference useless.
I write reports, but won't use wiki as the ref, I will use thier quoted ref, after checking it.
Published is published and "fixed".  Wikipedia is fluid, hence kinda useless as a reference.


Did I miss something from TFA?

I didn't see anything about quoting it, but more that people adopt specific short wordings that are used.

Also, if you want to quote wiki for some reason (and I am sure there are legitimate reasons to do so), it is quire easy to cite a specific revision. And that will never change.
 
2018-02-05 04:00:32 PM  

dywed88: bemused outsider: Quoting wikipedia comes with one problem:  it is under continual editing.
What you quoted can be changed later, making the reference useless.
I write reports, but won't use wiki as the ref, I will use thier quoted ref, after checking it.
Published is published and "fixed".  Wikipedia is fluid, hence kinda useless as a reference.

Did I miss something from TFA?

I didn't see anything about quoting it, but more that people adopt specific short wordings that are used.

Also, if you want to quote wiki for some reason (and I am sure there are legitimate reasons to do so), it is quire easy to cite a specific revision. And that will never change.


Also also, the convention (at least in MLA format) is to cite the day you accessed or retrieved the page.

// which is, admittedly, less helpful than including a revision number
 
2018-02-05 04:54:33 PM  

dywed88: bemused outsider: Quoting wikipedia comes with one problem:  it is under continual editing.
What you quoted can be changed later, making the reference useless.
I write reports, but won't use wiki as the ref, I will use thier quoted ref, after checking it.
Published is published and "fixed".  Wikipedia is fluid, hence kinda useless as a reference.

Did I miss something from TFA?

I didn't see anything about quoting it, but more that people adopt specific short wordings that are used.

Also, if you want to quote wiki for some reason (and I am sure there are legitimate reasons to do so), it is quire easy to cite a specific revision. And that will never change.


Was not responding to the article, was responding to the headline..
Then gave my reason for not quoting wiki directly.
I don't cite it directly because it's fluid, but I do cite the underlying source.
Nothing to get excited about either way.
My clients prefer the underlying article, so I use the underlying article.

Wikipedia-has-become-a-science-referen​ce-source-even-though-scientists-dont-​cite-it-citation-needed
 
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