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RE: How to cite information in Wikipedia? (for a High School study guide)



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of K and T Dykes
>
> <<Agreed: no wiki citations. If the wiki article cites some 
> other primary source (which most good pages do), go to that 
> source, verify it, and cite that. If not, it is basically hearsay.>>
> 
> However, if that's the best source you have available, and it 
> perhaps calls into question the possibility of some other 
> source or other, then cite it.
> 
> I'm presently thinking of a small detail of nomenclature for 
> a Lower Jurassic mammal (or mammaliform).  I had an English 
> translation for that name from a UK paleontologist of renown, 
> but I shan't mention who.  It was in one of his books.  That 
> was my first source and, somehow, I wasn't convinced.  I 
> checked Wikipedia and found a different translation.  
> Somewhat later, the original 1950s paper arrived per post.  
> Wiki was correct and the paleontologist was wrong.  In this 
> case, I feel obliged to cite Wiki on my webpage.

And in three years, or three weeks, or (sometimes) three hours from now when
someone changes the Wikipedia [or other wiki] article to state something
entirely different, how useful is your citation? Minimally when citing an
online-only source, indicate the date you accessed that information.

And in the above case, shouldn't the 1950s paper itself be cited as the
source?

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA