Friday, 23 March 2012


I chose to edit the stub on Voluntary Action. I chose to edit this stub because voluntary action is a concept that relates to both humans and animals. Thus, through understanding more about this subject, I predict it would help me better understand animals. This would be beneficial for me because I am in the Animal Health program.

I used psychology books and peer-reviewed articles to gather information and expand the content that was already part of the stub. My addition to the stub is only an overview of the subject. Voluntary action is a large field; there are lots of experiments that have been done on the subject and it incorporates many other psychological concepts and information. However, as an overview, it fits with the encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia. 

My additions the Wikipedia stub Voluntary Action

Jimmy Wales, creator of Wikipedia, never intended the site to be used as a source for in-depth information that could be used in an academic article, for example. In an interview with The Guardian, he said that in reality, Wikipedia shouldn’t even be used as a single source for anything. Because it can be edited by anyone, it would be unrealistic to expect all information on Wikipedia to be factual or scientifically sound. (For more information, see Shannan Wilson's blog!) Despite being monitored by Gardeners and Performers, there are still Vandals that slip through the cracks (as discussed by Erin Dul in lecture, on March 20). However, misinformation found on Wikipedia cannot solely be attributed to those with malicious intent. Since articles are not only edited by neutral experts, some biased or incorrect information is posted by those who do not have a thorough understanding of the subject. Luckily, additions to Wikipedia are monitored by the afore mentioned Gardeners and Performers who attempt to catch any misnomers. Additionally, with the help of “Good Article” statuses and in-depth reference lists, the public can have a better guess at if they are reading accurate information. 

None of the content that was already on the page was referenced so in addition to expanding the information, I had to ensure that the pre-existing text was correctly cited. I found that RefWorks was an incredible tool to ensure that all the citations were done accurately and quickly. This allowed me to concentrate on providing information to the public instead of spending an abundance of time on references.

1 comment:

  1. I am also in the Animal Health program, but I never thought Voluntary Action would be a stub. It's unfortunate but not surprising that the information already in the Wikipedia stub was not cited. The articles by The Guardian sums up how I feel about Wikis as a whole, but I wouldn't say it's a good source for nothing. Video game wikis frequent my internet history but I would only use the actual Wikipedia for common knowledge, like the President's birthday or something like that.