Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Apr 06, 2016     Views: 100

In most cases, no. Here’s the problem: by definition, a wiki is a website that allows anyone to add, delete, or revise content.

Wikipedia has a general disclaimer:  they make no guarantee of content validity.

  • Anyone can change or alter the content by someone with a different opinion
  • There’s no formal peer review; there’s no guarantee of informal review
  • There’s no formal agreement between the writer and Wikipedia

While many people read (and edit) Wikipedia, there is no formal review of the articles for fact checking. In other words, there’s no peer-review of any of the material on the website.  Wikipedia doesn’t guarantee any of the information is accurate.

Another question you may want to ask yourself:  Does my professor/instructor require scholarly articles? 

If yes, you’ll want to use resources (databases, books, etc.) from the Shapiro Library. Not all materials available at the Shapiro Library are scholarly and/or peer reviewed however, so you'll still need to evaluate any sources you find.

If you’re looking for some keywords or to find websites to get an introduction to a topic (e.g. by using the reference list on the Wikipedia page) then you may want to search Wikipedia just for background information. However, since it's not always a source of factual information it's not appropriate to use for academic research.

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