Wikipedia Wannabes or Serious Contenders?

Here at the Library, we’re all about research. We have books, journals, magazines, online databases, guides and much more to help you with your research. On the other hand, sometimes you just need a quick definition or an encyclopedia article and you don’t feel like going to the Library’s site and logging in. Where do you turn? I’m guessing you either go straight to Wikipedia or you get there from a Google search. There are alternatives to Wikipedia – well, one serious contender and the other is more of a wannabe.

I don’t think I can pronounce it – even with the pronounciation guide – but Citizendium has a similar purpose to Wikipedia – to provide a credible and reliable source of information that is free to the public. Citizendium adds the factor of gentle expert oversight, something that Wikipedia currently lacks. Furthermore, they do not allow aliases and include author/expert (auto)biographies as well. Since the project is relatively new, it doesn’t have the amount of content as the more established contemporary. I’d keep Citizendium on your radar screen for the future – it’s a serious contender.

At first glance, this site appears deceivingly similar to Wikipedia. It’s not until you read the content of the pages before you realize it’s an imposter. It’s like the editors at the Onion took over the encyclopedia – either that or an estranger former admin. This site demonstrates the need to use web sources with caution – not all sites are as obviously misleading as this. For fun, check out the featured article from 15 May. Sounds like something that’s happened here on campus, no?

About kyle

I'm the library guy. No, seriously, I'm the only male reference & instruction librarian. I also have the pleasure of serving several campus committees, the Academic Staff Assembly and the Chancellor's Task Force on LGBT Issues, among others.
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