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7 thoughts on “

  1. I think that you are 100% right about Wikis being here to stay. They are definitely not going anywhere and will most likely expand. I was not able to find too much information regarding Chemipedia or Medipedia mentioned in the modules. It seems like they have not taken off in the way that Wikipedia has. I found Scholarpedia to be quite interesting. I like that it is a peer reviewed version of Wikipedia and that in order to write an article you must be deemed to be an authority figure on the subject. However, I think that for the vast majority users of Wikipedia this would be of no interest to them. They are looking for quick information about a topic, not a scholarly article. Wikis definitely appeal to the masses. While I am an avid Wiki reader I do find that after becoming a library science student I find myself analyzing the citation section. I recently edited my first Wiki articles for this class and it was a much easier process then I had imagined. However, for someone who values accurate information I wanted to make sure it was a topic I knew well. I do wish that you could see (or maybe you can and I have not found it) who the author of the article or portion of text is. I feel like that would help you decipher how accurate the knowledge is. However, that is not what Wikis are really about I suppose. It’s just a “simple” content management system with no defined owner that anyone can edit.

    I do like your idea of using them at work. I think that this would be a wonderful addition really anywhere but especially at a library. I would be interested to see how libraries have implemented them into their work place.

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    • I agree with your comment that wikis’ use in our lives will expand. And, yes, Wikipedia is absolutely appealing and satisfying to the layperson – to a certain extent it’s that “principle of least effort” theory we so often run into as library and information studies students. Congratulations on editing an actual article! I’ve not figured out how to access that information either, although supposedly you are able to see the editing history of articles. Too, I think you can anonymously edit articles, which does imply some ethical issues such as in the case of a politician, for example, who has a Wikipedia profile that is negatively edited by a person opposed to him/her. Yes, I would love to see some examples of wikis being used in libraries! In fact, having that resource would prevent a lot of stress for me as a new hire trying to learn workflow processes, procedures, policies, etc.

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  2. I think that we are seeing a shift in the mindset of Wikis, at least it feels that way since I’ve started the SLIS program. In our research class, they weren’t used as primary research tools, but they were talked about, and I feel like people are coming to the realization that they are a tool to be used for its good. Much like the other social media tools, Facebook, Twitter, etc. finding a place in the academic world for these sorts of things is an ever-evolving process. Being in the Information Science field, we get to see it happening in real time, as our jobs pertain to this corralling of knowledge, and we are all contributing to this new research narrative as we go along.

    I think that teaching people about Wikis in libraries (maybe most particularly in academic libraries?) would be fun. An instructional class, or even a handout or pamphlet would be helpful in anyone using them for research purposes. I think anytime we assist in helping the public with research methods, they come away with more knowledge on how to access information all the time, throughout their lives. They would seek credible sources if they were taught to find them in the right way.

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    • You make such great points! I think wikis are also part of a generational transition, from more “one way or the highway” academic librarians to more flexible, open-minded librarians (dare I say us?) who have experienced firsthand the benefits of social software. I would love to incorporate wikis into info literacy instructional sessions!!! I read an article about how one women’s studies/history professor had her students in a women’s history class research Wikipedia articles about famous women for a particular historical era, only to find there were pretty slim pickings. These students then created their own articles about women achievers in that era to enrich Wikipedia, which I just thought was an amazing learning experience.

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  3. I totally agree with the concern about Wikis being a free for all. Heck, we can’t trust patrons to keep things “PG” on our community coloring page- how can we trust them with a wiki? They are definitely fun and a great way to get creative but it’s always a shortcut to the gutter XD

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