November 25, 2005
nona's wiki response and post
Response to article:
The article set out to answer quite a few questions. The ones I was most interested in reading the answer too were:
- “How good is the historical writing?”
- “What are the potential implications for our practice as scholars, teachers and purveyors of the past to the general public?”(2)
I agree with the author that the “less sophisticated reader” may not know the difference between an ill-informed amateurish article and a polished one.(18)There is where I think the danger lies. If that same less sophisticated reader went to Encarta with its same propensity for errors and wooden text, they would not happen across that amateur ill informed article. Just a thought, I do not condemn the whole venture because of that concern. I also agree with his assessment of encyclopedic entries. Anytime any encyclopedic entry that serves as one's sole source, it is not a good thing (22). But Wikipedia can not be blamed because it belongs to this category of reference material.
I was not aware of the discussion page that accompanies each entry. I agree with the author that it is in the line of collaboration and peer review.I tentatively disagree with the author’s tentative statement that historian’s probably have a professional obligation to make Wikipedia as good as possible.(25) I think that no such obligation exists. That said, when I come across articles on subjects that I am interested in or that are in my area of expertise, I will probably read them very carefully and edit accordingly and in that aspect I will be very much like any other Wikipedia user. I will also, as a teacher, instruct my students that like any other encyclopedic source, this may be only a starting point for their research and corroboration and verification is expected. That I feel is the extent of my obligation to Wikipedia.
I added to the entry on the Bahamas a section called: Bahamian History Resources.
Posted by nmartina at November 25, 2005 05:08 PM