Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do NOT Rely on Wikipedia!

I have worked with many research assistants over the years and have found them increasingly (myopically might be a better word) dependent on computerized research, often surprised at learning that anyone looks at the actual volumes of law reviews or case reporters.  But not everytiing on the internet is accurate.  Here is an object lesson from the U.S. Court of Appeals from the Eighth Circuit:

"We know only that the BIA thinks that if, hypothetically, the IJ had not considered Wikipedia and reached the same conclusion, then that conclusion would not be clearly erroneous. But we do not know whether the IJ would have reached the same conclusion without Wikipedia, or whether (and, if so, why) the BIA believes that the IJ's consideration of Wikipedia was harmless error, in the sense that it did not influence the IJ's decision. Because the BIA's ultimate conclusion that Badasa failed to establish her identity is not adequately explained, we must remand for further proceedings." Badasa v. Attorney General, Aug. 29, 2008. Download badasa20820829081.pdf



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Hold on, this was a lawyer who used wikipedia as reference??

I used to substitute teach and I can tell you that most junior high students know that is not accpetable. However, a few years ago, my friend attended anIvy League school and for a freshman class and about a third of the students citated wikipedia in their papers. He was horrified and even more so when half the class didn't know that just anyone could edit wikipedia.

Posted by: AG | Sep 3, 2008 11:41:06 AM

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