“Wikipedia is good for academia,” declares historian Eric Rauchway in The New Republic (free registration required to read), comparing the growth of open source documents on the internet to the coffee-house intellectual culture of the 17th century.
Rauchway’s article highlights Middlebury College in Vermont, which has banned students from citing Wikipedia in their essays. The college says Wikipedia can be inaccurate because of its open source nature.
Rauchway argues that, firstly, college students shouldn’t be relying solely on encyclopedias but on sources closer to the events; and secondly, that peer-reviewed studies have shown that Wikipedia does not contain significantly more errors than a certain commercial encyclopedia.
Academics, to the barricades! You have nothing to lose but your publishers, and a Wiki to gain.