Thursday, April 26, 2012
Between 2002 and 2008, American law review articles contained more than 4800 citations to Wikipedia, according to Houston law librarian Daniel J. Baker. I tell my students that they may not cite to the on-line encyclopedia in my class, so I was interested to read Baker’s views about it. He notes that Wikipedia has limited probity and permanence and then presents data on citations to it. He then concludes that “the legal community as a whole should discourage most citations to Wikipedia.” Baker counsels authors and editors to find better resources and urges faculty advisors to empower student editors to question Wikipedia citations. Baker’s article, A Jester’s Promenade: Citations to Wikipedia in Law Reviews, 2002-2008, was published in the winter 2012 issue of the Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. An earlier version is available on SSRN.