Do not use Wikipedia as your primary research tool [RANT]

This is a guest contribution by PCMech

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that many rely on for information. I do reference this site myself in PCMech articles from time to time. However, I do know full well that Wikipedia oftentimes has mistakes in their articles. In fact it’s commonplace. What I do before linking any Wikipedia article for reference is that I purposely read through the entire article just to make sure what’s said is accurate to the best of my knowledge before linking it.

If you are researching anything that requires you to look up reference material,do not use Wikipedia as your primary source. Whether it’s for work, school, instructional documentation you’re writing or whatever it is, do not trust Wikipedia as 100% factual, because the vast majority of the time it isn’t.

Know your alternatives, such as Encyclopedia Britannica, Reference and Smithsonian Research to name a few. These resources are factual, not “maybe” factual like Wikipedia is.

The next time you read any Wikipedia article, get a second source to ensure it’s accurate. If you don’t and use Wikipedia solely as your source for reference material, the information you use could literally be absolutely wrong.

This blog post appeared originally in PCMech #313. You can subscribe to PCMech’s Newsletter here.