Good Source for Online Research (Or I Have Issues)

I read a lot. In fact, it’s my favorite pastime. And since we’ve recently moved, most of my books are still packed. As a result, I’ve been doing all my reading on my phone using Kindle. Which is great, btw.

In any event, as I read various things, I realize just how stupid I am about many, many things (this being my issues), especially as it concerns history and factual information. As I’m already doinking on my phone reading, I naturally just go Google my questions. My results almost always lead me to a Wikipedia article.

My question is this - is Wikipedia a GOOD source for me to use to at least obtain factual information from, or should I be looking for another source?

Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who can go down a rabbit hole researching stuff online - can I rely on Wikipedia results and still consider myself reasonably more informed?

Wikipedia is a reference work. It strives to be as objectively factual and neutral as possible. That’s useful in many situations but it means you can miss a lot of context about a subject. You learn more about a subject when it’s presented with a point of view. (But you shouldn’t always trust a point of view. Try to find several different, preferably conflicting, points of view covering the same subject.)

Wikipedia is an excellent starting point. It can sometimes lead you to the original data cites when reading historical topics.

So, yes, you should be “reasonably more informed”.

For almost every issue there is probably going to be a specialized site better than Wikipedia but the problem is how to find it.

My take is also along the lines of Wikipedia being a starting point. Take it with a grain of sand. But use it as a jumping off point to where more reliable info can be found.

Find out what research databases your public library makes available to you, and you will have access to probably thousands of scholarly and professional journals, general interest magazines, newspapers, and other sources.

At least with Wikipedia, if anything is factually incorrect, there’s a good chance that someone who knows better will notice that it’s factually incorrect and come along and change and/or flag it. Also, Wikipedia pages give references that you can follow up on if you are concerned about the factual accuracy of its claims.

Neither of these things make Wikipedia infallible, but they help to make it more trustworthy than just some random site on the internet. (Or some random book. Just because something’s in print doesn’t mean you can trust it to be accurate, or up-to-date.)

I agree with this. And many public libraries make these databases available via their websites, so you can do research from home, even after the library is closed. Check with your librarian. If you live in a small town, but a larger city is nearby, you might be able to get a library card for its library, and get access to its resources. Or you might have access to the library of the university you attended or another university in your area.

This. I know that Wikipedia can be corrupted. One person sued to get his biography changed because of defamations. Within a month of Wikipedia losing the suit and changing the biography, the defamations were back.
I also know that at a College Speech and Debate national championships many years ago, one team was rebuked by the judges for using Wikipedia as a source.

Thank you all! Good to know that it will work for my purposes, and appreciate the tips on the best places to go if I want further info.

Another vote for Wiki for general research, and as a starting point.

There is also
(Online Reference Sources from the American Society of Indexing), which I have found to be very helpful.