Science students more likely to use Wikipedia

The Daily Princetonian reports that a majority of college students use for course-related research, and students majoring in architecture, engineering, and science are more likely to do so, according to a study published earlier this month in the journal First Monday. More than 2,000 students from six colleges and universities in the United States, including both public and private universities and two- and four-year colleges, were surveyed. Eighty-two percent of respondents reported using Wikipedia to obtain background information on a topic. While 52 percent said they were frequent users, only 22 percent said they rarely, if ever, used the web site. Students in four-year colleges were more likely than those in two-year colleges to use Wikipedia for research. Princeton students, librarians, and faculty alike agreed that Wikipedia serves as a good starting point for research, but it shouldn’t be used as a cited source. The study’s findings that more science than humanities majors, and more students at four-year colleges than two-year colleges, use Wikipedia surprised some members of the campus community…

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