General Question

LanceVance's avatar

What source is most credible?

Asked by LanceVance (645points) February 9th, 2008

I’m doing a research on cloning for a debate I have in March, but before I make some good arguments, I need to have some precise information and I’m wondering now what source is the most credible: Wikipedia, Microsoft Encarta, Britannica Encyclopaedia or a third-party source that I haven’t heard of yet?

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6 Answers

sinscriven's avatar

EB, Encarta, and the like are probably the most credible since they have paid staff to fact check and research everything, but a well written wikipedia article will have tons of references and resources to explore, so if I were researching a subject, I’d look at wikipedia’s footnotes and references and go from there.

Just seems to make more sense to me to find small places that specialize in certain types of information, than looking for the epic tome that tries to do everything and answers nothing.

kevbo's avatar

I recall from a 60 Minutes or something that Wikipedia has an average of 4 errors per page while EB has 3.

ironhiway's avatar

If your going to debate I would advise you to take note of the apparent errors of all three, and follow sinscriven’s advice on the footnotes. The better you know where the disagreement on the subject is, the less likely your opponent will catch you off guard.

Also do a web search for other research, those sites you mentioned are for general information not for detailed debate winning.

Good Luck

felipelavinz's avatar

If you really want to have good sources, you absolutely have to go beyond encyclopedia articles, no matter what encyclopedia you use. As said, check footnotes and go directly to the sources of the information and check scientific magazines (that is, general interest/general public publications that specialize in science) and even scientific journals (publications specifically aimed at scientists). And, of course, search for philosophical and ethical debates on the issue.

felipelavinz's avatar

You might also want to check Arthur Schopenahuer’s The art of controversy

cwilbur's avatar

Use the information (especially the citations) in the Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia and Encarta to find better sources. Encyclopedias are for getting a quick answer or a quick overview and for giving you starting points for further research.

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