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The Evolving Academic Opinions on Wikipedia
Megan Zahneis writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Academics have traditionally distrusted Wikipedia, citing the inaccuracies that arise from its communally edited design and lamenting students’ tendency to sometimes plagiarize assignments from it.” However, LiAnna Davis, director of programs for Wikipedia’s nonprofit Wiki Education, says that “higher education and Wikipedia don’t seem like such strange bedfellows. … ‘I think it’s a recognition that Wikipedia is embedded within the fabric of learning now,’ she [says].”
The article continues:
One initiative Davis oversees at Wiki Education aims to forge stronger bonds between Wikipedia and higher education. The Visiting Scholars program, which began in 2015, pairs academics at colleges with experienced Wikipedia editors.
Institutions provide the editors with access to academic journals, research databases, and digital collections, which the editors use to write and expand Wikipedia articles on topics of mutual interest. A dozen institutions, including Rutgers University, Brown University, and the University of Pittsburgh, are participating.
But while feedback from the participating institutions has been positive, Davis said, some are still skeptical of Wikipedia’s presence in academe.
For more information, read the article.
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