I will admit that I use wikipedia more often than I am supposed to in regards to academic projects. I think that wikipedia organizes information in the most efficient way, a way that I don’t know is attainable for academia. I feel as though Wikipedia sets itself up for success because of its crowdsourcing model. Everyone who wishes to contribute needs to cite their sources, and those changes to a page get checked by others. When there’s a point of contention on an issue, a note gets made on a page and a discussion goes underway in the discussion site for the page.
My two favorite events in American History (my focus) are the Watergate Scandal, and the 504 protests, and they work as good test subjects because one is a very big event, while the other is relatively niche. Looking at them, they seem to be relatively balanced and present both sides fairly. Many pages on wikipedia have been flagged for potential bias, which shows that it is something the website has a dedication to. While Wikipedia isn’t itself an academic source, it is made up of academic sources and is the most heavily peer reviewed body of work, and therefore shouldn’t be dismissed as heavily as academics do. Like any other website we’ve looked at in this class, wikipedia serves as a good “jumping off” point for people that wish to know about an issue on a surface level.