Friday, April 20, 2012

Search Tips #12: Sources in Google


Explore the world of shared expertise on Wikipedia.  By and large, it is a great place to start for background on a topic you are not familiar with.  Besides a quick read, I focus on the links and references at the bottom of the article.  This gives you clues to experts, follow-up and important sources to find more detailed answers.  Also, look at the sources and contributors to the article for good contacts.  Take a look at the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education by Timothy Messer-Kruse.  The article, “The Undue Weight of Truth on Wikipedia,” was published on Feb 12, 2012.  He is an expert in American labor history and describes his mostly unsuccessful journey to add and revise a section of the site on the Haymarket Riot of 1886.  Very revealing about how scholarly inputs can be complicated in the web world, versus the longstanding and at least more straightforward process in contributing to peer-reviewed journals.  

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