snousle: (cigar)
[personal profile] snousle
I have a pretty high regard for Wikipedia, because whenever I look at an article where my own knowledge is authoritative, it gets it pretty much right. It's not perfect, and I have found a few minor but glaring errors, but when it's used for what it's meant to be used for - as a first introduction and an entry point into the secondary literature for a given subject - it does that very well.

Every now and then someone gets their knickers in a twist about how unfair the editing process is:

This is usually along the lines of "But I'm an EXPERT, why won't you listen to me?" There is hardly any sincere effort to understand and work with the standards and process Wikipedia has established: the would be authors just sweep in and make changes, and wonder why those changes are reverted.

I always look into the talk page in such cases, and on reviewing what went on, I am rarely sympathetic to the frustrated author. They never seem to understand that their lack of appreciation for Wikipedia standards, their apparent self promotion, reliance on original research, and so forth are just not part of how it works. So they go on some other forum and complain about how awful it all is. Sorry, guys, no dice. Either work with it or ignore it. Wikipedia doesn't need your expertise, your credentials, or your indignant opinion of What An Online Encyclopedia Should Be. It needs your reliable secondary sources. Preferably summarized and referenced by someone else, someone who doesn't have a career to promote or an axe to grind. Thanks for sharing!!!

Date: 2013-05-18 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that's happened to me. A bit of history that is lacking on wikipedia so I post it and then because it's lacking on the net in general others delete it. When I finally find some net verification they then said "Okay, so it did exist, so what?".

I got all pissed off at that and then gave up. I mentioned it to someone and they said, "Why not make a website about the topic?" and that's what I thought a posting on wikipedia would be.

Anyway, just goes to show that the net does not have all the world's knowledge. There's tons of stuff that exists/existed but there is zero reference to it online. Students and anyone researching needs to go beyond just the net and go to non-virtual libraries and other places.


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