Interesting study published by librarians from the University of Washington on “How Today’s Students Use Wikipedia for Course-Related Research.” The article is online, via creative commons license (thanks to authors Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg). One of the key findings includes what resources do students turn to for background information. Wikipedia ranked 6th. Above it – classroom materials, google, scholarly research databases, OPAC, and instructors.
So, should reference publishers push to get their content indexed in general scholarly research databases? The print or online encyclopedia ranked 11th – far below the library bookshelves, own collections, and government websites. I say yes.