People think Wikipedia is a source when it is actually a reference, and Wikipedia lists its sources as references

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That was my tactic in college, steal Wikipedia’s references and pretend I found them on my own while everyone else was citing Wikipedia itself.


Do people actually think that? I remember being told back in college in the early 2000’s by my professors that Wikipedia isn’t a source and that they wouldn’t accept it as one.


any reference can also be a source. most of the sources listed in wikipedia also cite their own sources, as they aren’t the direct primary source; they’re fine to use as references too. it’s just important to know the hierarchy and quality of sources, most texts are suitable as source and reference depending on context


If I reference a publicized research paper that references other sources, does that mean the publicized research paper is only a reference, not a source? No, absolutely not. You do not *have* to cite the original source from every single piece of information you gather. While I agree that yes, mining Wikipedia’s reference list is arguably the best way to use Wikipedia, by no means is Wikipedia “not a source.” It just happens to be one that academia frowns upon because, as others have pointed out, it was inaccurate for long periods of time and is prone to error due to user editing


This shower thought is about 10 years behind. No one thinks wikipedia is a source, and schools emphasize to use it to find credible sources.