One Librarian One Reference – Wikipedia and Librarians

Whether or not you use it, Wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge and information on just about every aspect of the world we live in, from the composition of an atom to the synopsis of your favourite television program. Students are often warned about citing Wikipedia in an academic setting because entries are created and edited by you, the user, which means anyone could create an unreliable entry which could be mistaken as fact. Anyone familiar with the internet would consider it dangerous to trust a source of information created by a group of anonymous users however Wikipedia has garnered for itself a reputation for being the first point-of-call for many knowledge seekers.

In the age of fake news, how can I tell Wikipedia is accurate?

Take a look at this article for some tips on how to tell if the wiki page you are reading is a reliable source of information. One of the first things you should do is check the citations of the article which are the little blue numbers which appear above a sentence in Wikipedia. The number will lead you to the source of the information cited in the article. If the article is credible, the information will be from an academic journal or other reliable source. QUT Library’s Finding Information page has some helpful resources to help you evaluate online sources.

How are Librarians helping the cause?

This is where the hashtag #1lib1ref comes in – this is a worldwide initiative where librarians (and you!) come together to edit Wikipedia pages by searching for uncited statements and adding a citation using a reliable source. You can read more about it on the WikiMedia page.

Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

Happy birthday Wikipedia! It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years since the website first launched on January 15, 2001.

See below for 15 interesting “Did you knows?” about Wikipedia:

  1. “Wiki” comes from the Hawaiian word meaning “quick”
  2. Over 5 million articles have been published in English so far
  3. Some languages supported by Wikipedia are: Esperanto, Latin, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Simple English
  4. The symbols on the Wikipedia logo are glyphs from a number of different writing systems in the world.
  5. Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia by creating an account
  6. The articles which feature a bronze star are considered to be some of the best articles in Wikipedia
  7. You can race your friends to see how many clicks does it take for you to get from Moby Dick to Kim Kardashian
  8. You can view a list of the recent changes to an article with the time and name of the editor
  9. Wikimedia is a non-profit organization with a number of projects including: Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikinews
  10. Being a Wikipedian in residence is a thing!
  11. Wikipedia relies solely on donations and volunteer contributors
  12. The majority of text and pictures on Wikipedia is covered by a Creative Commons license.
  13. You can put together a list of articles from Wikipedia to create your own book
  14. If you click on the “talk” tab of any article you can read a discussion on how best to improve the page
  15. Apparently it would take 16 years to read all of English Wikipedia

Follow the hastag #1lib1ref on Twitter to see what the librarians at QUT (and around the world) have been doing to celebrate this momentous occasion.