Paying $170 for Information Pulled from Wikipedia

19Dec07

This morning, I was sitting in class doing some last minute studying for a final when I noticed somthing strange: editors of my Consumer Behavior textbook had cited Wikipedia in the first footnote on a section describing the European Union. Right in footnote #1 of chapter 14; not even the always less-substantial chapter 1 introduction. Wait a minutue…

 I’ve been told my many professors that one of their biggest annoyances is the fact that all-too-many college students  cite Wikipedia as an academic source in papers and presentations.

So, what am I to think if the textbook my professor has assigned seems to endorse it as a credible source? On top of that, if I’m paying $170 for a textbook, I’d like to be assured that the information has been reviewed and authenticated by a jury a little more qualified than my peers and a few people who may or may not be out to shakeup our community-edited history.

I’m sure (hopeful) that Consumer Behavior’s Leon Schiffman and Leslie Lazar Kanuk did a little digging to determine the accuracy of this community-generated information on such a lofty topic as the EU.

 What do you think? Will editors and educators not only accept Wikipedia as a source but openly endorse it in our academic footnotes?

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4 Responses to “Paying $170 for Information Pulled from Wikipedia”

  1. You’re getting the shaft! I’d call them out on it.

  2. 2 Marshall Kirkpatrick

    That is way too funny. Good story.

  3. I’d be just as worried about all the authorities being cited. There’s a lot of group think in the academic communities that doesn’t necessarily mean something’s truer than if it was edited by Joe Spudnik on Wikipedia.

    Ideas come in and out of fashion. Depending on what decade it is, Enron is a case study for innovative business models, or an example of the worst excesses of corporate greed and stupidity. Andy Warhol’s a genius. Andy Warhol’s a publicity whore. Andy Warhol’s a genius. Nuclear power is good. Nuclear power is bad. Nuclear power is good.

    If the textbook writer goes with the flow of their academic crowd, some of the things they say will reflect ideas that are currently in vogue. Having a publication-hungry academic write the book doesn’t protect you from that. Neither does doing a Google search or checking Wikipedia. They all have their weaknesses as sources of knowledge/wisdom/facts.


  1. 1 How do you cite Wikipedia? « Our American Shelf Life

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