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A caution before citing the Psychology WikiEdit
As with any source, especially one of unknown authorship, you should be wary and independently verify the accuracy of Psychology Wiki information if possible. For many purposes, but particularly in academia, as yet Psychology Wiki may not be an acceptable source. Indeed, some professors and teachers may reject Psychology Wiki-sourced material completely. This is especially true when it is used uncorroborated. However, much of the content on Psychology Wiki is itself referenced, so an alternative is to cite the reliable source rather than the article itself.
We advise special caution when using Psychology Wiki as a source for research projects. Normal academic usage of Psychology Wiki and other encyclopedias is for getting the general facts of a problem and to gather keywords, references and bibliographical pointers, but not as a source in itself. Remember that Wikipedia is a wiki, which means that anyone in the world can edit an article, deleting accurate information or adding false information, which the reader may not recognize.
However, we are also confident that Wikipedia provides good overviews of most topics that it covers. See Psychology Wiki:Researching with Psychology Wiki, Caution on academic use of Psychology Wiki and our General Disclaimer page, for more information.
A wiki is an unusual medium, and as such doesn't conform well to the usual book-citation formats so you will need to use an electronic-citation format instead. The exact format will depend upon the citation guide that you are following, but here are a few general principles to consider:
- You should not cite any particular author or authors for a Psychology Wiki article, in general. Psychology Wiki is collaboratively written. However, if you do need to find the list of authors of a particular article, you can check the Page history. Authors are listed only by IP address or chosen user name; you normally cannot verify and often cannot even guess at their identities.
- Your citation should normally list both the article title and Psychology Wiki, much as you would for an article in a paper publication. Every article should be a separate citation.
- Most citation styles will likely require the full article URL. You can click "Permanent link" in the toolbox at the left of this page. This lets the URL include a unique identifier such that you can tie your reference back to the exact version of the article you are referencing. It may or may not be desirable to adopt this approach, depending upon the context of your reference. This lets you show what you saw and ignore any changes made after you accessed the page.
- The citation style may request the full date and time of the article revision you are using. If you use the permanent link feature, this may not be necessary. However, the date and time of the last revision can be found at the bottom of every page (above the copyright notice).
The following examples assume you are citing the Psychology Wiki article on Plagiarism, using the version that was submitted on July 22, 2004, at 10:55 UTC, and that you retrieved the article on August 10, 2004, except as otherwise noted.
- Plagiarism. (2004, July 22). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism
Note that in APA 5th Edition style, the following rules apply for the reference:
- For reference books, which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries, the book title is preceded by the word In. It is not italicized, but the book title following it is.
- The book title appears in sentence case. You capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.
- The URL must go to the exact page that you reference.
- No punctuation follows the URL.
- The term or article title appears in the author position. Use sentence case for multiple-word terms or titles, where you capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.
The proper in-text citation is ("Plagiarism," 2004) for a paraphrased passage or ("Plagiarism," 2004, para. #) if you directly quote the material. Note that para. # represents the paragraph number in the page where the information appears. If there are multiple headings on the page, it is also acceptable to place the subheading and then a paragraph number within that heading.
For example, proper in-text citation for a direct quote of fewer than 40 words is:
"Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work (this could be his or her words, products or ideas) for personal advantage, without proper acknowledgment of the original work" ("Plagiarism," 2004, "Definition," para. 1).
If the quoted material is more than 40 words, use the block quote format instead.
As another example, the proper in-text citation for a paraphrased passage is:
Plagiarism is stealing the works of others ("Plagiarism," 2004).
APA Style requires that you provide a separate reference entry for each term you are citing in your paper because 1) you must provide a URL for each term that goes directly to the term, and 2) you must provide the publication date for each term separately. However, if you are discussing the "online encyclopedia" itself, not a term in the encyclopedia, you might need to reference the site itself. The proper citation of Psychology Wiki, the site, as referenced in APA 5th Edition Style is:
- Psychology Wiki: The free encyclopedia. (2004, July 22). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page?f=a
The in-text citation formation would be (Psychology Wiki, 2004).
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