[Wikipedia-l] [Fwd: Re: authoritative web site]

Mathias Schindler neubau at presroi.de
Mon Aug 30 22:34:46 UTC 2004

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Mathias Schindler <neubau at presroi.de> writes:
>Dear Ms. Stagnitta,
>thank you for your reponse. There were lenghly discussions on several 
>places in the Internet. May I quote you
>Mathias Schindler
I just re-read what I originally sent to Al Fasoldt in the recent
Post-Standard column.   I'm afraid I do have egg all over my face.
Another great illustration for my students about reviewing what they 
have written in an email before they hit send.

I'll probably regret saying this... this is what got me in trouble in 
the first place, but... you may quote me.  I thank you for forwarding 
this to the ongoing discussion.

While I was not happy with the way the column was worded (especially the
title), I take responsibility for the way it was interpreted by Mr.
Fasoldt.  I did say in a direct quote to him...it appears that "the
Wikipedia is not an authoritative source.  It even states this in their
disclaimer on their website."  What I was discussing was the difficulty 
we all face in determining the authority of information found on a web
source.  In particular... what steps can the average student use to
determine the authority of a website for research, if at every turn, 
there is no author, no sponsor, or very long disclaimers that state the 
content may or may not be valid.   I commented that I thought if he was 
going to recommend Wikipedia to his readers, that he should comment on 
how the site was created. Specifically, that the Wikipedia was different 
from the old fashioned print encyclopedia that his casual web surfing 
readers may be used to.

The message was NOT... do not use Wikipedia as a source.... or that
Wikipedia is not an authoritative source.   The message was that the 
best thing about the web (the sharing of information and ideas) can also 
make it harder for the average high school student to make a judgement 
call when checking the authority of a source used for research.

I'm sorry if this generated controversy over the authority of the site,
this is NOT what was intended.  It just illustrates the problem.   It 
has generated some wonderful discussions though.   Another great thing 
about the web!

Susan E. Stagnitta

More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list