Thursday, January 3, 2013


When young people ask what I think of Wikipedia as a research resource, I usually say, "It's a good place to start, but never rely on it. Confirm the facts elsewhere."

Many if not most Wikipedia entries are legitimate, especially if citations of original sources come after the text. One can check those sources, which may lead to other sources, and so on. At some point during the research process, the facts turned up either will seem trustworthy or not.

But sometimes even this modest faith gets shaken when a massive hoax emerges.

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