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Michael Vergel Chavez S13 email@example.com Jim Manansala S13 firstname.lastname@example.org Veronica Eve Dae Serra S13 email@example.com Jamie Ann So S13 firstname.lastname@example.org College of Computer Studies Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology Management
ABSTRACT said: This research paper focuses on the credibility of Wikipedia with regards to students using it as a reference material. But can the emergence of this reference website cope up with the scandals and credibility of its contents? How do people accept Wikipedia and what are the effects of it to the users? Wikipedia perhaps is a good “stepping stone” for the researchers but questionable still. The preliminary findings suggest that Wikipedia is not a good reference for educational references but as a quick source of information on something, a general overview on the subject matter so academic papers must get their sources from real sources like published books, articles etc. 1. INTRODUCTION Everyone in the society - students, teachers, professionals, and even some of our parents always tend to find answers from the questions that some might already know or brag to share in his or her own way. The old fashioned and traditional ways of some will still probably research it by means of going to a national library or a campus library and search manually all the related or the exact topics of what he or she is looking for. A bit tiresome, but, still a probable solution to the many – importantly, to those who take their thesis project to the highest point of research. But because of innovation of technology and trends, the people tend to cope up with the situations that engulf them today. It is because they want to live their lives differently or as others say, convenient and easy to handle. That’s why the internet was born and so to many websites that provides services to the target market itself, the society. Social Computing Tools are used by the present generation in order to create social conventions with the use of software and technology of today . Social constructors like identity and presence, helps the society reach so many things. In terms of education itself, one social computing tool that all of the people aware is the power of Wikipedia and its thousands of articles that is shared by the public. With the rapid advancement of the technology of Internet, its uses and functions had also increased. Because of this, people found an alternative way in broadening their knowledge and searching for more information. Internet had made it possible to share information through certain websites and one of them is Wikipedia. Wiki comes from the Hawaiian word which means quick or fast. “Humans are very social, they interact in every possible way by means of expressions, gestures, written and spoken words” Humans do everything in order to be known and to know something. In order to know something lays the action of “doing what is acceptable and not acceptable by everyone”. With the social behavior and the technology today, professionals today had formulated a tool in order to supply the needs of the society with the convenience and usability of technology today. That need is called “Social Computing Tools”. Ms. Kiran Budhrani , a college professor,
Wikipedia is one of the best known wiki which contains millions and millions of entries and started in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, hired by Jimmy. Basically Wikipedia’s entries and articles are submitted by different users. Wikipedia gradually relies on the readers in order to create and verify its contents. Moreover, it is a free online encyclopedia and being referenced by most students for their research papers. Currently Wikipedia has entries and articles in hundreds of different languages and millions of contributors. The use of Wikipedia has been beneficial in providing quick facts to its users. One of the most popular reason could be, Wikipedia being a free online encyclopedia, ease of usage. Once reaching the site of Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), users can start searching or use other Wikipedia’s sister projects such as Wiktionary (dictionary and thesaurus), Wikibooks (collection of editable online manuals and textbooks), Wikispecies (directory of animal and plant species), Wikisource (online source-document site) etc. . Upon searching for something over the internet on Google, Wikipedia is usually the first result to show up thus students use it as their reference. Eventually there are many issues raise regarding this emerging reference website especially its credibility. The popularity of Wikipedia did not always have the same positive impact on all of the people. Due to its function that lets users to edit and create articles on their website that are considered as reference by other users, issues have risen that gave negative impact not just on other people but on other countries. As to the early years of Wikipedia, they had experienced their first scandal with a certain known man in China and certain topics that are not meant to be published like the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the Beijing Olympic Games and since that China had adapted to blocking websites in their territory. The Syrian and Tunisia Wikimedia versions are blocked within their country. As to countries like Uzbekistan and United Kingdom the block was only temporary . 2. BEHIND THE SOCIAL COMPUTING SITE According to educause.edu , Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that any people can add information or edit. Launching in the early year of 2001, it includes million of articles in dozens of languages. Despite of the flaws and the quality of the information given in a certain topic, it has been one of the most popular online resources. Statistics put it today as the eight most visited Web site in the whole state of America, not for long, in the whole world. It also contains many numbers of external links in which it is connected to the main topic instead. The external links are also the most probable sites that a
person can go to whether information is either incomplete or not yet clear to the Wikipedia discussions. The site also organizes the information by means of certain chapters and glossaries in which the reader can understand it clearly, piece by piece. Wikipedia has become one of the tools that many college students used to work on. At the same time, some faculty and researchers doesn’t accept it yet, but, due to more collaborations and revision of information, in the mere future, it can be a reliable source of research for everyone to see. Statistics shows that as of today, 85% of the information in Wikipedia are yet fixed and true to the point of explanation. Developers are making it up to the perfect digit in order to be one of the most trusted sites to offer quality reference and consistent information. As an online search function, Wikipedia’s searches are done through keyword searches, locate and read articles, access some copyright photos and other media, and lastly, follow hyperlinks to some resources related to the topics at hand. To avoid the danger of reliability and out-of-date of information, Wikipedia added a function that alerting the users that the specific content that might be less trustworthy to the public. 3. GOOD THING ON WIKIPEDIA According to an article written by Dayle Turner in associatedcontent.com, Wikipedia today can be used as the source of writing assignments or materials for within classes . The fact that, students can write new articles or edit existing articles on Wikipedia as part can be a writing assignment that gives the students the opportunity to learn more about topics like language arts, history, economics, political science, biology, math, at any levelelementary middle school, high school or college. Wikipedia can be used as a tool for learning more while outside of the class as concluded by the article on the website. Wikipedia’s major feature of open source writing outcomes about the concerns about the accuracy, quality, validity, objectivity, and usefulness of the contents in Wikipedia that made some intuitions ban the students to use this website. Turner said that these institutions does not realize the very nature of Wikipedia which is to make real-world writing excellent point for students a students about issues of accuracy quality, validity, objectivity, and usefulness. This can offer students’ opportunities to "write for real" and to engage in critical thinking which the primary goals of education are . This was strongly agreed by the creator of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales. As Wales quoted on article news in BBC “We are the Red Cross of Information”. He
said that educators that do not allow their students to access Wikipedia are “bad educators”. As he had explained in Online Information conference at London's Olympia, students should be allowed with the access of this site as an online encyclopedia. He said that Wikipedia is the stepping stone of the students to other sources. "You can ban kids from listening to rock 'n' roll music, but they're going to anyway," he added. This mentality goes with information to, so why not let them? And that is why the creator had created new editing and checking procedures that made Wikipedia a trustworthy site. One of the procedures used is real-time critic review. The fact that technology has advanced, still the creator of Wikipedia prefers the use of peer critique (volunteers check new and updated articles for accuracy and impartiality). This theme is taken from the Creative Commons scheme which would "bring Wikipedia into line with the rest of the free content culture". As compared to Encyclopedia Britannica with its 239 years of history and rigorous fact-checking procedures, Wikipedia is still prone to article vandalism . But still Britannica and Wikipedia should not be seen as direct competitors. Both have different way of delivering information to the learners and Wikipedia, had made the use of encyclopedias "trendy and popular" with young people, which could only benefit Britannica's subscription-led service . "Wiki wants to give people the maximum freedom to do good.” the last thing Jimmy Wales said to the conference; this shows the clear goal of the website to reach out and give the learners, students the freedom to explore and share more and more information . Meanwhile, different views rise with the use of Wikipedia. On the blog post of Nicholas Carr, he wrote, “Wikipedia articles have become the default external link for many creators of web content, not because Wikipedia is the best source but because it’s the best-known source and, generally, its “good enough.” Wikipedia is the lazy man’s link, and we’re all lazy men, except for those of us who are lazy women” . This is also true with the mentality of a student trying to cram for a research not just because of the summarized contents of Wikipedia but also the way internet or web browsers behave when searching for information. Most of the results in the internet points to Wikipedia, this deprives the student on having an in- depth search of the information, research or topic. 4. CREDIBILITY ISSUE Wikipedia is a good source of information especially for students who are searching for the general overview of the topic. However, it is not a recommended for college
students for their research and class projects, example of which writing a paper about a battle, students should refer to history books not Wikipedia it only suggests quick facts, from the creator of Wikipedia himself, Jimmy Wales . Also to quote from Chronicle of Higher Education: Speaking at a conference at the University of Pennsylvania on June 9, 2006 called “The Hyperlinked Society,” Mr. Wales said that he gets about 10 e-mail messages a week from students who complain that Wikipedia has gotten them into academic hot water. “They say, ‘Please help me. I got an F on my paper because I cited Wikipedia’” and the information turned out to be wrong, he says. But he said he has no sympathy for their plight, noting that he thinks to himself: “For God sake, you’re in college; don’t cite the encyclopedia.” As written earlier, Wikipedia is the “stepping stone” when researching for links on the internet, but the bad thing about this is that, when the student sees the information written on Wikipedia, he or she stops searching for more and just be contented on the contents that Wikipedia has. The outcome of this is that the use or visits of specialty sites will be less. Just like the author of the blog post “Wikipedia-Side Effects”, he starts using websites MathWorld which consists of the large contributor pool with little editorial control, to reference his studies. As the speed of technology increases, more and more websites had come out and one of this was a better math reference site which is PlanetMath. For years he had used these sites to help his studies until a better site with a better web structure rises which is Wikipedia. Comparing Wikipedia to two Math specialist sites, PlanetMath and MathWorld, the popularity of Wikipedia grows faster that it overlaps the use of such sites. Now Wikipedia is more visited by the author because Wikipedia summarizes the contents of the two sites but without the better explanations of course and the topics were copied referencing the two sites only as a link. Even though the two specialty sites are free to be copied, the chance of the student and the author to visit this site is lesser . As to Wikipedia being widely used as a reference to research by the students, many educators were alerted whether Wikipedia is a credible source or not. According to Dave Taylor, recognized as an expert both on technical and business issues wrote an article regarding what Wikipedia is lacking. In his article “What Wikipedia Lost: Credibility” sums up the credibility issue of Wikipedia. As he was editing a paper of his student, he said “It really hit me as I was editing the student papers and reading passages like this:
"Twenty-five years ago, all computer usage, including the use of Microsoft applications, was accomplished from manual entries at the command line prompt. In addition to the mainframe operating systems there was Digital Research's CP/M-80 for the 8080 / 8085 / Z-80 CPUs and MS-DOS (or PC-DOS when supplied by IBM) which was based originally on CP/M80, among others [Wikipedia, 2005]. The ubiquitous commercial off-the-shelf software of today was not to become available for another fifteen to twenty years..." It seems like once a Web site gains a certain size or level of visibility in the public eye it automatically gains credibility and veracity. "It's published on the Web, it must be true."” And to prove that the author (Wikipedia) was wrong, he continues, “Oh, and the cited page in the paper? It's clearly wrong or at least needs some specific calendar references because if you do the math you'll see that the author is suggesting that commercial applications didn't show up for the PC or Mac until about 5-10 years ago, which is complete nonsense. Worse, the four students collaborating on the paper never thought to question the information source - after all, it was Wikipedia! - and never caught the mistake.” Also as a writer, he has submitted an entry to Wikipedia about himself and checking back few months after, there were six entries of Dave Taylor . Since anyone can edit information on Wikipedia, some people try to vandalize the pages with criticisms though Wikipedians would change them back. Even drug addicts could manipulate what a Harvard graduate have written on the page. Continues editing of information seems to be endless until the information is accepted by both sides as neutral will have the chance of surviving in the future . 5. CONCLUSION
community of learners and researchers alike. The social computing tool offers all individuals to pave way to their researching skills and make evaluations so that they can also participate to save their knowledge in this repository for future generation ahead. They will also see how knowledge is created and refine one step at the time, also to understand when a specific topic is sufficient to make a valuable contribution. Wikipedia can encourage students and researchers to critically analyze more on what they read, ask questions, engage in reflective learning, and to be creative and logic in education at the same time. Wikipedia allows user to explore the information by clicking simultaneously from one hypertext of information to another allows user to easily jumping from one information to another. But the problem in this information is that there is no real time support for the response and time lag for error correction when information is presented wrongly. That is why some of the articles are still risky to use because the time response is to a maximum of one week that gives the user a time to intake wrong information. Presentation of the information can only be improved if the community works towards it, the honesty within the usage, the right information and sources are to be used and less information vandalism. For short Wikipedia changes quickly and improves more and reduces error because of its users’ contribution. And as of today the society have accepted Wikipedia as one of the resources for teaching. And because of this, the dependency of referencing in Wikipedia grows not only by the usage of the students or learning institution but also by other people. However, as for educational institutions like universities and colleges, Wikipedia is not regarded as reliable source of information. Similar to the internet, Wikipedia has good information and erroneous information. Therefore, it is up to the educators to help their students recognize information found in Wikipedia either good and correct or biased and wrong. 6. RECOMMENDATION
Wikipedia is a great idea but is a challenge to education. Now that education has moved its way on the twenty first century, information is available online to students including those is Wikipedia. It is hard for the u0niversities and colleges to push students to go back to the previous way of finding resources on information and expect them not to use available resources over the internet to help them gain more knowledge. As an implication for teaching and learning for the future generations ahead, Wikipedia is developing to cross the line between the consumption and creation of more knowledge, opening the way to many motivated students and users to see themselves as a member of
As a recommendation, having the full knowledge of the social computing tool is the first key to know how it works and how it would play a role in the part of your assignment or research paper. Equipped with these will enable the users to browse information without the hassle of just copying and pasting different articles in a document and instead give more information that can be refer in the research work by means of the external links of the specific article itself. Wikipedia promotes collaboration of different information around the world; it is up to the individuals how they will use it clearly and with caution. It is a social
computing tool that may be a universal encyclopedia in the mere future generations of youth. With all the advancements in Wikipedia, the question still remains, is Wikipedia enough to feed the curiosity of students, learners? It is true that with the error preventers of Wikipedia, it is has a lesser risk when used and still provides the curious the information, but what about the in depth understanding. The possibility of learning more not just with only use of Wikipedia is still high, using and visiting on specialty sites is still better to feed not just the passing curiosity but also the need to learn more with exploration and research. 7. REFERENCES  L. Bouck, Wikipedia, http://www.CNET.com, October 19, 2008.  K. Budhrani, “Social Computing Tools and Social Technography”, http://www.slideshare.net/kiranb/socialcomputingtoolsand technography-presentation, 2008  Wikipedia, History of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia, 2009.  7 Things you know about Wikipedia., http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7026.pdf, 2007
 D. Turner, Using Wikipedia for Writing Assignments, http://www.associatedcontent.com, July 2008.  A. Coleman, Students should use Wikipedia, http://news.bbc.co.uk, December 2007.  N. Carr, The centripetal Web, http://www.roughtype.com, October 2008.  J. Young, Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation, http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/1328/wikipediafounder-discourages-academic-use-of-his-creation, June 12, 2006.  Wikipedia-Side effects, http://www.whatisresearch.wordpress.com, November 2008.  D. Taylor, What Wikipedia Lost: Credibility, http://www.intuitive.com/blog/what_wikipedia_lost_credi bility.html, December 27, 2005  J. Sidener, Everybody’s Encyclopedia, http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20041206/new s_mz1b6encyclo.html, December 6, 2004.
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