This morning I found myself thinking about that perennial question of the reliability of Wikipedia. This time it is because my older daughter (she’s in junior high) is forbidden to use Wikipedia articles in papers for school, but she wasn’t given any other recommended suggestions from her teacher. So my observation is that she is now more likely to use online sources that are actually less reliable than Wikipedia.
Teacher: Your bias against crowd-sourced and curated knowledge has driven your students to find non-curated “knowledge.” Grade: F.
Better idea? Teach students to evaluate the credibility of online sources, and allow them to use Wikipedia articles if they are deemed sufficiently trustworthy. Mark down the grade if untrustworthy articles are referenced. This would teach a real research skill, and be more educational than just pointing to the Google search box.
But that’s a rant, and not what I learned.
I first did a Google search for “reliability of wikipedia,” and found a whole bunch of results. But they were mostly from Wikipedia. I looked at a few interesting Wikipedia articles on the topic, but wanted to see what websites other than Wikipedia had to say about this.
And there was my challenge. How do I do that same search but exclude results from wikipedia.org?
Well, I already knew that you can type
site:domain.com into the search field to just search a specific website, so I tried
site:-wikipedia.org. That didn’t return any results. So I tried another approach that did work, putting the minus sign to the left of “site,” and it worked like a charm.
reliability of wikipedia -site:wikipedia.org
There. I learned something new today.