Lane Hartwell/Wikimedia

One source is no source #046

Thursday, May 18th, 2017. School's out! Well, not really. I have no more classes but that is only so that we can focus on writing multiple mini-papers about the topics we've discussed during the semester. That means some weeks of work, but who said getting a Master's was easy?


When we want to quickly look for an information our most common path is to do a Google search and check it on Wikipedia. On the other hand, Wikipedia is probably also the most criticized sources of information, mainly in the academic world.

It is seen as a problem that everybody and edit an article and change informations, but that is also what made it big. It's superpower is it's weakness. And while Wikipedia's accuracy has been compared multiple times with other encyclopedias, how precise it is is not the main question.

The real problem, from my perspective, is stoping at Wikipedia. And I would say the same for stoping at one simple book. We should never stop at our first source, we should always check with others to see for ourselves how accurate and how complete the information we need is.

What I learned on school is that encyclopedias (printed or digital) are not supposed to hold the final anwsers to everything. They are starting points to our reasearches. We go there to get initial understandings and to know there to look for next.

The thing is that every source will be wrong every once in a while. Books, newspapers and even photos can mislead. That is why it is important to always be skeptical and double check information.

Fact-check your facts.