Ezel Poslu

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From Humanitarian-FOSS Project Development Site

I do not completely agree with Rosenzweig’s opinion about the reliability of Wikipedia, however, I agree with his idea of Wikipedia's usefulness and contribution to the online resources that provide information about history. The article mostly discusses the quality of Wikipedia by comparing Wikipedia with other online encyclopedias such asEncarta,American National Biography Online, and Encyclopedia Britannica.

The main difference between these online sources is their accessibility. As Roy Rosenzweig mentions in his article, Wikipedia's is a free online source, which makes it the easiest to get information. However, this doesn’t make Wikipedia the best and the most reliable source to get information especially about history. Since one article has more than one author who can be any people with any background, the reliability of the information in Wikipedia can be unreliable. That’s why most of the professors do not allow the students to use Wikipedia, especially for important papers. In my opinion, Wikipedia is a great source to get information about any kind of subject, however, I agree with editor McHenry’s [1] idea of Wikipedia's position of a visitor to a public restroom. Even though Rosenzweig says that page tells who used the facilities, I do not think usernames and IP addresses tell much about people who contributed to the website. That’s why. I do not agree with Rosenzweig about the reliability of Wikipedia considering the participants. On the other hand, mostly scholars write in other online sources who do not hesitate to share their identity.

However, Rosenzweig brings a solution to that problem by suggesting that those who write history for a living or who seriously dedicate themselves to the history should join popular history makers in Wikipedia . This way, Wikipedia would not only be accessible to a great amount of information, it would also be a reliable source for getting information about history.

One more last point I agree with Rosenzweig's opinion about usefulness of Wikipedia is that it is regularly being updated. If the information is not enough, some more information is added or the information is wrong, it is fixed right away. I think this is an indication of the improvement of Wikipedia due to the huge interest and involvement in it.

1 McHenry, Robert. The real bias in Wikipedia:a response to David Shariatmadari. June 6, 2006.

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