Answered By: Kate Holvoet
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2015     Views: 6

From Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia#A_caution_before_citing_Wikipedia

"We advise special caution when using Wikipedia as a source for research projects. Normal academic usage of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias is for getting the general facts of a problem and to gather keywords, references and bibliographical pointers, but not as a source in itself. Remember that Wikipedia is a wiki, which means that anyone in the world can edit an article, deleting accurate information or adding false information, which the reader may not recognize."

Most academic institutions like Universities and Colleges have declared Wikipedia to not be an acceptable research source.  This doesn't mean that you can't use Wikipedia, just that you can't cite information as coming from Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is a great place to start a research project because it can give you a quick overview of the subject and give you ideas on search terms to use and even specific references at the bottom of the article that you can cite.  It's a bad place to stop (meaning only using Wikipedia as your research source) because even Wikipedia acknowledges that the open nature of its creation means that "anyone in the world can edit an article, deleting accurate information or adding false information, which the reader may not recognize." 

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