Rethinking role for Wikipedia, Google and Google Scholar

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google_wikip.jpg I read another blog entry that suggested the place for these tools is the pre-search or preliminary search:

"That said, I do see Google scholar as an important browsing tool - and part of what might be called an ideal ‘pre-search’ tool. But what is a pre-search tool? Use pre-search tools to orient yourself, to browse, ask questions and get acquainted with topics. Who are the leading authors in a given field? What articles are seminal? Pre-search as a concept is also applicable to Wikipedia. Think of mother Google this way (i.e. presearch) as well.

Both Google scholar and Wikipedia can confidently be called ‘pre-search’ tools. Let’s convince our faculty users who ban Wikipedia for undergraduate research that much can be learned by using these tools and critiquing them against better sources. It’s part of media and information literacy in the digital age."

It makes sense to formalize these tools and put them in their place--as a great starting point--not as the beginning, middle and end place for research. The post also mentions how Wikipedia is getting very technical for some of their entries--written for experts--thus making this not a good pre-search tool.

What do you think?

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