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SSCI 299: SocialScienceSYE

How to think like a Social Scientist: Information is constructed.

Understanding Wikipedia

  • Reliability of Wikipedia, example:
    Drug Safety in the Digital Age. New England Journal of Medicine 2014; 370:2460-2462
    Researchers examined 22 drug safety warnings issued by FDA between 2011 and 2012 for an array of diseases and conditions, including hepatitis C, hypertension and leukemia. They then assessed the accuracy and timeliness of Wikipedia entries related to each drug for 60 days before and after the FDA communications were issued. Results were not promising.

Evaluating Wikipedia Articles

wikipedia

Researching with Wikipedia

As with many information sources not everything in Wikipedia is accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased. This article, by Wikipedia editors, describes ways to evaluate and use Wikipedia as a research tool, including an overview of its strengths and weaknesses, as well as ways to judge article quality. As they say in the summary, "You should not use Wikipedia by itself for primary research (unless you are writing a paper about Wikipedia.)"