I logged into my university’s website for the first time in a long while today, to access databases which are available to students through the university’s subscriptions. I’m about to head back for post-graduate study and I needed to find a few more scholarly articles for my proposal. For those who may not know, universities are pretty picky about what makes a legitimate source for academic work.
So, I went to the university library’s page to the ‘online resources’, a section which I was assured, back in my first year, would direct me to academic and peer-reviewed works of the sort approved for this kind of thing. Naturally not everything there is peer-reviewed (there are collections of newspaper and magazine articles, for instance), but it’s intended for academic use. I went to the ‘W’ section to look for the Wiley-Blackwell collection, and found…
University staff spend an awful lot of time trying to explain to new students why Wikipedia may be a useful resource (in fact it absolutely is, in my opinion), but it’s not a valid academic source. Including a link in the online resources section seems like it would just confuse the definition. When it comes down to it, students will be able to find Wikipedia without a directory if they want it – it’s not a very complicated URL, and they know how to use Google.
Note to self: get the “why you can’t use Wikipedia” talk in early next time I tutor a class!