When is it appropriate for a court or serious academic publication to cite to Wikipedia? Concurring Opinions asks this important question because a lot more courts are citing to WIkipedia. Even Judge RIchard Posner finds Wikipedia useful in certain situations.
P.S. If you want a better practice, check out this Ultimate Guide.
Even using Wiki for facts is risky however. I have seen many articles which have information which is simply not accurate, however the article hasn’t had that many editors and thus no one has “picked up on it”. Much the same as we Shephardize cases, shouldn’t we cite how many people have revised a Wiki article to show at least some semblance of trustworthiness of the ‘facts’ in the article?
Well, for one, any subject which is essentially undisputed and non-controversial is likely to have accurate information on Wikipedia. No one should cite its entry on euthanasia, but it will likely tell you the year that the Coca-Cola Company was founded.
“When is it appropriate for a court or serious academic publication to cite to Wikipedia?” he wonders. Heh. Just ask Stephen Colbert.
Wikipedia is a great reference to check certain facts. But because of its democratic nature certain articles are going to be highly politized, You could get a different take on things depending on who did the latest edit. Some of the articles having a tipping scale icon to warn you about this. I would never use it as single source of info. maybe collaborating.
Unless the particular piece happens to help your case or argument.