Dagbladet and Wikipedia

There are many complaints about how students these days are increasingly using Wikipedia as a source in their papers and other writings. There have been some cases where the media has been caught using them. However, I was surprised to find out how openly Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper would reveal the fact they had used the only user-maintained encyclopedia.

In today’s issue of Dagbladet there is an interesting article («Hvem skriver jeg for?») about the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. The article touched on the relationship between the rise of the novel and the rise of the nation. Pamuk optimistically claims that, “The art of the novel is no longer connected to the nation-state in the same way it was before.”

Above the article was a separate column with some biographical information about the Orhan Pamuk, including information about a 2005 case brought against him for his «fornærmelser mot det tyrkiske folk» after he made some comments about the Turkish mass killings of Armenians.

At the bottom of the article, the source (“kilde”) was listed:

Kilde: Wikipedia

This is kind of disturbing. Wikipedia is a wonderful experiment and I use it all the time for casual searches. However, it cannot be the final source for either academic research, or I would hope, media articles. It should serve as a first or casual check – to be followed by confirming information independently. I’m almost as surprised that Dagbladet would openly admit that they have simply listed some Wikipedia entry data for his biography than that they used the material itself.

2 thoughts on “Dagbladet and Wikipedia”

  1. I think you’ve summed it up very nicely. Wikipedia is great for casual or preliminary research but should never be a definitive source.

  2. I suppose the best-case scenario is that they got the information from Wikipedia, confirmed it elsewhere, but left Wikipedia as the source for the same reason that you list secondary sources in a bibliography, if that’s where you found the primary source text you quote… doesn’t seem likely, though.

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