Wikipedia as References of Academic Report


Most academic activist that I know refuse Wikipedia as references of academic report. Academic report such as school or college works, science essay, journal, proceeding, etc. Why can’t Wikipedia become reference source for academic reports?


Below are some of my opinions,

  1. Anonymity
  2. Inconsistency


Means the writer or activist in Wikipedia could be anyone but do have unclear identity. As we can know from picture below, writer name displayed by their username only, even just their IP. If we click the link of that username or IP, some of them do not have trusted information of their profile. Even some of them do not have any detail information. This makes information integrity of Wikipedia are doubted.

Tampilan riwayat revisi artikel Wikipedia
Tampilan riwayat revisi artikel Wikipedia


The most significant difference between Wikipedia and other sources such as newspaper, magazine, journal, proceeding, etc is about consistency. Once it going published, it could not be changed, except there are any revision in other edition.

But not for Wikipedia, it could have many modifications after it has been published to public. Modifications could be addition, changing terms, or even deletion of content. So how we could trust them as eligible resource for academic reports?

Why do you talk about this topic suddenly?

Actually this post written and published after having some talks with someone who pro with Wikipedia as references of academic reports. Firstly he said it is a fail if a teacher said to his children that Wikipedia should not be reference of his children task. I ask why is it fail? He answered that Wikipedia is written by million people with billion topic, as simple of that. Then I ask him again about consistency and imperfect article of Wikipedia. He said that as other sources, Wikipedia is one one of the best, not only one.

Well, after that I was trying to remember what my lectures said about this topic and I found two strong reasons. And attention! I post this to make a constructive discussions, not to offend any people. I am trying to tell my perspective and I hope I could get another perspective (cons opinion).

Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to mention your perspectives below. Let’s discuss! :-)

Further Reading

Do you like to refer Wikipedia on your task? Why?