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Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, which is widely known among internet users of different age and place of living. As it includes more than 4 million of articles on different topics and in different languages, it becomes helpful in many cases. However, although this online resource, which has been created in 2001, has become very popular in the web-world, each user should be aware about its disadvantages and risks.

To begin with, it is essential to highlight that the authors of the bilingual articles from Wikipedia are “anonymous Internet volunteers”, who do not get any money for their work (Wikipedia: About). Consequently, people of different backgrounds and cultures create the site by sharing and editing the information and “free of copyright restrictions” (Wikipedia: About). Finally, the articles are not peer reviewed by experts in the spheres, and there are no guarantees about the information credibility. The fact that the sources are not obligatory or checked contributes to its irrelevancy to be used as verified information (Rochon et al. 2853). In fact, anyone can put any unreliable information in Wikipedia, and the article General Disclaimer states that this electronic encyclopedia “makes no guarantee of validity” (General Disclaimer). Moreover, the next section, which is called Risk Disclaimer, clarifies that no one is responsible for mistakes or wrong information, and it is highlighted with a thick font that the information can be not only inaccurate or misleading, but even “dangerous, unethical or illegal” (Risk Disclaimer).

To sum it up, all the above mentioned facts prove that the articles from Wikipedia cannot be used for any researches or academic perspectives. The information is unreliable and can only give some vague ideas on the topic, which needs further verification. In contrast to this information, the educators and professionals need the information, which is peer reviewed (checked by the expert), credible, evidence-based, serious and uses academic language filled with terminology. In addition, any encyclopedia is a tertiary source, while the academic and scholarly researches and essays usually demand the primary or secondary ones.

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