An excellent paper from Roy Rosenzweig* (CHNM (centre for History and New Media, George Mason U).
Worth reading, and maybe discussing.
*RR has also written "Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web" (with Daniel J Cohen)
The first part recalls the Wikipedia 's success story, which challenges the authority of the professional historians.
The second tries to determine the accuracy of Wikipedia : he compares entries in Wikipedia with Microsoft's online resource Encarta and American National Biography Online (read his comment on the Lincoln entry).
The third one discusses the historians' implications :
« Should those who write history for a living join such popular history makers in writing history in Wikipedia? My own tentative answer is YES".
"Can the wiki way foster the collaborative creation of historical knowledge?" YES
"If the Internet and the notion of commons-based peer production provide intriguing opportunities for mobilizing volunteer historical enthusiasm to produce a massive digital archive, what about mobilizing and coordinating the work of professional historians in that fashion?"
"Could we, for example, write a collaborative U.S. history textbook that would be free to all our students?"
"Still, Wikipedia and Linux show that there are alternative models to producing encyclopedias and software than the hierarchical, commercial model represented by Bill Gates and Microsoft".
How far do you use it with your students ?
Do you collaborate to the English version ?
a comment in French : http://clioweb.free....bats/wikirr.htm
Edited by D Letouzey, 17 August 2006 - 04:59 PM.