News and Views from Ernster, the Law Library Virtual Cat.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Who To Trust: Wikipedia Or Your Doctor?
Wikipedia has become for many the first, and often
the only, stop in their online research. Although the site has been criticized
for its level of accuracy in non-technical areas, it has often received praise
for its reliability in the realms of science and technology.
A new study, however, calls even this reliability into question. In the study, researchers across the United States examined Wikipedia articles for ten of the most costly medical conditions in the U.S., including osteoarthritis, back pain, diabetes, and asthma. They printed the articles for analysis, and discovered that 90% of the entries contained statements that contradict the most up-to-date medical research.
Moral of the story: Careful researchers, including legal ones, always
critically evaluate their sources, and especially crowd-sourced ones, such as
(a.k.a. - legal stuff I have to say on advice of counsel)
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