A Wiki World

March 23rd, 2010

Are you fond of Wikipedia? We know that it is popularly used by students (and staff!) as a place “to get started” with one’s understanding of a particular topic.

Students report that they often use this wiki resource to consider a would-be research topic and to identify resources for more information.

Wikis are collaborative websites where many people can add and edit the content on pages—usually by means of a simple HTML interface. While this collaboration can lend itself well to quality information-sharing, it can also be important to corroborate information—particularly if you are not able to determine who the content editors may be (which can pose a concern, for some in academia, with the use of certain wikis where content providers remain anonymous).

Two particular projects, the Encyclopedia of Earth and the Encyclopedia of Life, have fused wiki technology with expert editors to create resources of peer-reviewed, reliable information. Each encyclopedic resource supplies freely-accessible and fully-searchable content that is written and reviewed by identified educators, researchers and scientists–many within the disciplines treated.

Give them a try today!