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John M. Flaxman Library SAIC School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Evaluating Resources Guide

Wikipedia

                                                   Wikipedia                                                                             

Example

Fauvism Article

Teaching Wikipedia Comic

Content

Quality ranges from poor to very good

Language Written for a general audience; language is general and easy to follow
Authors

Anonymous, crowd sourced, anyone can add content

References References, footnotes or bibliographies are always included
Editors Some editorial control from Wikimedia Foundation and self-appointed editors within the Wikipedia community; however it is not the same type of editorial control as publishing houses
Publishers Non-commercial

Uses

Professors do not usually accept Wikipedia articles as a source for college level papers and projects, but they can be very useful in finding other, reliable sources that can be cited, external links, and further reading, as well as providing basic background information and general overviews for a rudimentary understanding.  Pop-culture topics tend to be more thoroughly presented.