On 7/11/05, Paul Jakma <paul at clubi.ie> wrote:
> You should at least:
>> 1. Examine the references
> 2. Quickly look at the references (eg the introduction) to see there
> isn't a glaring inaccuracy in how the citee has interpreted it
2. If the reference information was better, this might be possible.
You seem to think you hit a goldmine with the chili reference, but its
hard to tell what data from the paper it's citing. Taking a glance at
it, it looks like it's going for the chemical formula, and it's not
until the last line that you get what you're looking for. Would it
kill it to provide a better reference? The report shows how it's done:
authors, title, journal name, and best of all, page numbers.
> In that case, how come you can't do the same thing for wikipedia?
> I use it regularly and have found it quite useful and accurate (least
> for non-stub pages). Why can't I then apply your criteria and
> conclude it then likely is generally useful and accurate?
How did you verify this accuracy, I wonder, when you knew little
enough about the topic to need to look it up?
Encyclopedia are written by far fewer people than wikipedia. A single
wikipedia page may have a hundred essentially anonymous authors, with
no editor to sort it out. I'd trust a real encyclopedia far more. They
have a reputation to protect, and a paid staff of researchers, who do
this every day. Not randomers who's sole qualification is an ability
to use words of 4 syllables.
> You can't - no more than you can with the EB. You should be wary of
> human error in /both/ cases.
True. But if it's serious research, you'll only be using it as a primer anyway.
> Course, the fact that a wiki article linked to this report probably
> makes its accuracy suspect to your mind..
Not at all. I checked the references - very impressive ;)
paul.biggar at gmail.com
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