Is Wikipedia ok for research?

Wikipedia can be a great resource for many of your information needs. Your professors may have guidelines on using Wikipedia, but ultimately you'll need to decide when it’s appropriate to use and when it’s not.

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Much of Wikipedia's content is similar to what you would find in a print encyclopedia.

The difference is that print encyclopedias have editors to ensure the content is credible and well-written. Wikipedia does not have one central editor-- the community of users work to ensure the credibility and quality of the content.

When can it help me?

Just like print encyclopedias, Wikipedia can be a great starting point to help you understand and focus your topic further. However, you won’t want to use Wikipedia as a source for your paper, as it is too general and not always reliable.

If you have any questions about using Wikipedia, please Ask a Librarian.



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