WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research rather than as the final word, says a Purdue University communications expert.
“Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use,” says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. “But Wikipedia is here to stay and, despite penalties, people are likely to continue using it.”
Begun in 2001, Wikipedia is a popular online reference tool that allows Internet users to add and edit entries.
Matei recommends Wikipedia be used as a search engine that acts as a springboard to other resources and that it never be cited as a primary source of information.