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Shawn

Good post, I agree that online scholarship is the future, but I have often wondered with Wikipedia, how do we regulate its use in a class setting and in undergrad papers. My temptation is to tell students not to use it because some are not yet able to sift through what is helpful and what is not. What would be or has been your approach in this regard?

JohnFH

I think undergrads should be encouraged to use Wikipedia.

I would assign an entry relevant to the course to each student, invite them to do research on its basis but also, and especially, lay bare the entry's biases and limitations based on independent research.

I would also require students to go through the process of contributing to the entry's improvement, and report on the aftermath.

Shawn, you have a great blog, and I wish you well in your studies.

Suzanne

John,

I have been following Junia in Wikipedia and noticed a few months ago that a very accurate description of the problems that Linda Belleville found in the Wallace and Burer article was posted. However, I note that that has recently been removed and the impression now left is that Epp is tedious and Wallace is accurate. It's too bad but I am afraid that Wikipedia will always be vulnerable to having disagreeable but accurate facts edited out.

The only links are to the Wallace and Burer article which is undefended against Belleville's and my questions.

G.M. Grena

You said you "would have chosen reportage of a different kind; see link above". If you're referring to the Telegraph.co.uk link, it's dead. Or were you referring to the blog links?

JohnFH

Suzanne,

Everything we do, as scholars and human beings, is conditioned by vulnerability to disagreeable but accurate facts being edited out.

The difference with Wikipedia is that the gory process is there in full view.

But the example you cite is disturbing.

It might be wise, when a Wikipedia entry turns out well, to archive it somewhere before the thought police arrive and change things for the worse.

As Rabbi Tarfon said ...

James McGrath

I think the key is for students to learn to seek confirmation of claims on Wikipedia. It is a convenient place to start, but must be used with caution. I hope some of my students learned that the contributors can be anyone when I made them contribute to an online textbook on the Gospel of John on WikiBooks! :)

The other thing we can do to help, of course, is contribute to the articles in our areas of expertise.

JohnFH

G. M. Grena is right: the Telegraph.co.uk link is now dead. It wasn't when I posted it a few hours ago. How frustrating!

The link included a translation of the tablet and a photograph of it, which is why it was so helpful.

Suzanne

John,

It is much better than you think. Everything on wikipedia is archived in the history. This is the deleted paragraph which is there in the history.

All three have interacted, corrected, and refuted the Burer and Wallace article and hypothesis. Bauckham has shown that Psalms of Solomon 2:6 is not a parallel to Romans 16.7. He has also shown that it is not even relevant to the Romans 16.7. Further, Burer and Wallace cite Lucian in a footnote. The citation is in error (which both Bauckham and Belleville point out). Belleville finds the citation and corrects it. It is episamoi with en and the dative. Further, it is personal and inclusive. Most telling is that it is a perfect parallel with Romans 16.7. (Epps, p. 76). Hence, the weight of their argument actually ends up proving the exact opposite of their hypothesis. They miss this in their conclusions. So it appears that not only was Junia a female, but she was prominent AMONG the Apostles. Such an argument would diminish the veracity of the contentions laid forth by Pope [[John Paul II]] in the Apostolic letter ''[[Ordinatio Sacerdotalis]]''.

Of course, it probably should have been edited a bit to sound not quite so triumphant, but the facts about Pss. Sol. and Lucian are true, and have been deleted, but remain in the history. Hmm.

JohnFH

Suzanne,

you just upped my appreciation for Wikipedia.

Iyov

You left the final "l" out of your Telegraph link; it ends in .xml, not .xm

Suzanne

It is useful to be aware of how wikipedia works. I have used the history feature at the top of the article to trace postings, as well as the discussion, etc. for some time. The discussions can be interesting. It does have some pluses for sure.

I usually try to quote a link but occasionally now I find something in wikipedia that is only available elsewhere in a book, that is, offline. I admit that lately I have found an increase in accuracy overall.

JohnFH

Thanks, Iyov. I've fixed the Telegraph link.

I'm taking down the post with the article in pdf format, plus the comment on it by Hector Avalos, which I nonetheless recommend for its intrinsic interest. The wikipedia entry now includes the link as well.

Chuck Jones

Here you'll find a very interesting presentation on wikipedia and the process of an article's revision over time:
http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/gems/umlaut.html

We have started a new group in facebook for bloggers writing on the ancient world. Any among you who fit this category are welcome to join:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2428998475

As for regulating the use of wikipedia, I'm not sure I would. I am certain that I would not allow it to be cited in a student's paper any more than I would allow a citation of any other encyclopedia.

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