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  • Wikipedia?

    Why Wikipedia?

    I frequently link to Wikipedia as a “reference” for further reading relating to these questions.  (And I frequently use Wikipedia as the source of the questions, too.)  But Wikipedia is not a genuine encyclopedia, and should never be used as a reference in any formal report of any kind.

    I know that.

    But:

    1. These questions and their answers are not formal reports.  They’re just quick water-cooler conversations among science geeks.
    2. Wikipedia articles frequently include links to genuine sources, just in case you really do want a formal reference.  Wikipedia is a good starting point for much on-line research.

    So no, don’t use Wikipedia as a formal reference.  And even as an informal quick source, you should always view it with caution.  It can be incorrect, as hard as the dedicated volunteer editors try.

    And bear in mind that even homework is a formal scientific report.  Don’t use Wikipedia as a reference for your homework.

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