IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

More on Wikis and Blogs

The read-Write web; the Live Web

Wikis and Blogs can have any of the top-level domains, and often will not even have the word "wiki" or "blog" in the (URL) web address.

Take a look at this web site: http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Main_Page (opens in a new window). Notice that the top-level domain is .org, but this site is a wiki.

Here's the URL of a blog in a college library: http://www.clark.edu/Library/blog/. Notice the top-level domain is .edu

Searcher, Beware

When you search the web, many of the sites you'll find will be blogs or wikis sites. You must evaluate these sites on the same rigid criteria that you use to evaluate any kind of information source.

Here's a rule of thumb: One of the basic criteria for evaluating information sources is to verify the credentials of the author. With the vast majority of blogs, wikis, and other interactive sites it is impossible to assess author credentials. This fact alone makes them unacceptable for use in college research papers. When in doubt, discuss the source with your instructor.

But suppose you find some great information in a blog or wiki? Rather than using that site, find the information in another, more credible source such as a reference book or journal article, and use the credible source in your research.

Repeat: If you find information in a blog, wiki, or other interactive site, verify that information in another credible source, such as a reference book or journal article.

Next >>