Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute, is controversial as a source of research. Some teachers will not accept Wikipedia articles as resources. (I recommend that Wikipedia for cutting-edge topics, but only use it for references at the end of the article, not the article itself. )
This was posted to the discussion group SYSLIB-L (Systems Librarianship) by
Gerry McKiernan, Science and Technology Librarian at Iowa State University:
"Internet encyclopedias go head to head" by Jim Giles
Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a _Nature_ investigation finds.
[ http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html ] [FREE]
ALSO:Wikipedia as Accurate as Britannica
[ http://www.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?print=1&article_id=69780&cat_id=643 ]
The podcast is available from the _Nature_ podcast page
[ http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/index.html ]
The feature includes an interview with the author of the article as well as one with
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.
In addition, a table with a list of the 50 entries reviewed in the study and the number of inaccuracies found in the Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia respectively is available and located at [ http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/multimedia/438900a_m1.html ]
Tina Lau, North County Librarian
(in Research help, WWW Resources)