Previously on the blog, we’ve discussed when to use wikis for research and when to avoid them. Generally, we discourage the use of wikis due to the anonymous authors. How do we know that the author of a Wikipedia page, for example, is an educated and reputable source on the subject?
Now, Wikipedia is working to become a more reputable site by establishing Wikipedians in Residence. As this blog post from the Chronicle of Higher Education explains, Wikipedians in Residence are Wikipedia editors placed on site at institutions, such as the Gerald R. Ford Library at the University of Michigan. The duty of these editors is to boost the institution’s profile on Wikipedia.
If Wikipedia becomes populated with more information from libraries, museums, and archives from across the world, we might change our tune about using the site for research.