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A guide on using Wikipedia for study and research for staff and students

Wikipedia for research

Advantages for using Wikipedia for research

Wikipedia is:

  • free to use
  • often a good neutral source (though not always)
  • comprehensive and covers many subjects
  • available in a range of languages
  • generally up to date
  • full text searchable

Problems with using Wikipedia for research

Wikipedia is:

  • not peer reviewed
  • not stable
  • biased towards certain types of information
  • is not comprehensive. As an encyclopedia, so the amount of text on anyone subject is limited
  • not universal, in the countries it covers


Wikidata is:

  • an open source data repository available for reading and editing
  • a structured data hosting location for wiki projects, including wikipedia
  • accessible via SPARQL queries, via the Wikidata Query Helper, and offers support from community members to write queries for you.


Wikipedia Issues

Wikipedia itself has some detailed pages on its use and percieved issues

Reliability of Wikipedia
Criticism of Wikipedia
Gender bias in Wikipedia
Racial bias on Wikipedia
Academic studies about wikipedia