Lecturer bans Google and Wikipedia
January 21, 2008
A lecturer at a UK university has banned her students from using Google and Wikipedia, saying students were relying on the websites too much and dubbing the trend as “the University of Google”.
Professor Tara Brabazon (49) restricted her students to a strict reading list, saying: “I ban my students from using Google, Wikipedia and other websites like that. I give them a reading list to work from and expect them to cite a good number of them in any work they produce”.
Brabazon is the author of ‘the University of Google: Education in a (post) information age’. Reports from the Daily Telegraph, the (London) Times, and Daily Mail newspapers as well as the Press Association all exclude the fact the lecture was the author of the book published last year. She is also credited as editor of ‘the Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded’ due out this year.
The author and lecturer of Media Studies at the University of Brighton recently held a talk titled “Google is white bread for the mind”. But her messages, including looking further then the first web search results, may be easily due to the focus on the high profile internet names.
Her call comes as warning from third level institutions increasingly warn about wholesale plagiarising from the internet. Websites such as Wikipedia should also be only used as a starting point for research as anybody can edit pages on the site, and it can take months or longer before unsound information on the site is corrected.
Our tips for online research
- Wikipedia can not be trusted
- Google is not the authority on every thing
- Use advance search for searching one site or between dates
- Try news, news archive, books, and scholar searches
- Also try Yahoo, or directories like dmoz.org
- Use the search features on other websites, like newspaper sites
- Remember not everything or everybody is online