pros and cons of using Wikipedia

Wikipedia has been used as a source of references to researchers. When looking for information on the web, your first source of information is from Wikipedia. It is evolving slowly and maybe very soon it will incorporate everything we need in our daily lives.

There have been controversies on the authenticity of information published on Wikipedia. Strategies have been put in place to improve the accuracy of information being published.

 

Pros:

1. Wider information: Wikipedia can provide almost every kind of information you need to look for. The wiki pages consist of information on different topics

2. Ease of use: It is easy to find the information you’re looking for within minutes. You can also easily learn about new things you have never heard before.

3. User collaboration: Users in different parts of the world can open the same document at the same time making a collaboration of shared data much easier.

4. Edited by different people: Anyone registered to Wikipedia can edit information published in wiki pages. Measures have to be taken to ensure only those logged in can be able to edit the documents and they have the right of access.

5. Control of information: Each edit or update of wiki information is recorded in the wiki software. If wrong information is edited, the software can easily revert the changes to the previous version.

6. Flexible: the program has no any predetermined structure, it can be used for a variety of applications.

7. Instantaneous content: information is always updated instantly and you don’t have to wait for a particular publisher to update the information.

8. Wider access: Wikipedia allows non-technical users to easily publish information on Wiki pages without any restrictions.

9. References at the end of the page: Wiki pages provide you with reference material for all documents linked to the wiki information.

10.  Open source software: You don’t have to worry about the licensing costs required for installing institutional wiki. There are several open source software programs you can choose to handle some task.

 

Cons:

1. Lack of confidentiality: Some confidential information can get to the wrong persons since anybody can edit the information in Wikipedia. This makes it difficult to regulate user access rights.

2. Disorganization of information: Due to the flexible nature of wiki structure, information published can be disorganized.

3.  Spamming of content: When everyone is left to edit wiki documents, it opens a loophole for vandalism and spamming of information being published. Measures should be taken to ensure only those who are logged on can edit the wiki pages and also reduce vandalism through automated spam bots. There is also inaccurate information being published when some editors make a mistake while editing the Wikipedia.

4. Trustworthy of information: Some of the unpopular topics will have less trustworthy information because they’re only edited by few people.

5. Not used for academic purposes: The wiki pages cannot be used as a resource for academic research. Students are refrain from using the resources for academic purposes.

6.  Free content: since the information published on Wikipedia pages is free, editors carry out less research to come up with the articles.

7. Editors don’t seek permission: Editors can write information about people, use their names and pictures without seeking their permission. Any user can be able to change the information in the Wikipedia pages. Some of the supporters of Wikipedia believe that: If you don’t like a certain article, you can fix it yourself. All you need to do is write convincing content to users.

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