Fri 18th January 2008, 4:41am
QUOTE(Lar @ Thu 17th January 2008, 11:36pm)
QUOTE(JukoFF @ Thu 17th January 2008, 7:32pm)
QUOTE(guy @ Fri 18th January 2008, 12:23am)
There are reputable Internet sites that are quite as good as most printed sources. The problem is identifying them. Also, many of them are subscription only.
Well, many of the best sources are books and journals, and these are "subscription only". To be frank though, a shoddy web reference is better than no reference at all. As we know, by design anyone can (and does) write whatever pap they like on Wikipedia. To know that another website is saying the same thing is not completely worthless.
I have a kid (sorry, young adult, or so I am reminded) in college and that login gets me into a lot better class of source for a goodly number of areas. I figure what else am I paying tuition for anyway? Also I heard that having a library card will, in some jurisdictions, get you access to some of these paid subscription based sites as well... not sure if you can get into, for example JSTOR or LEXIS/NEXIS, but maybe that is something of interest?
Generally, if you are a resident of a city that has a large enough university, you can access JSTOR and Lexis/Nexis through the university library. If you can't for whatever reason, you can at least use the free abstracts provided online to narrow down articles, which you can then find through your public library system. Sometimes, the library will carry the journal itself, but this is becoming much less common as libraries are digitizing their collections and destroying the paper copies. If your local library does not carry the particular journal, they can usually order the specific article you want through interlibrary loan, although you sometimes have to pay photocopying charges. The articles are usually scanned at the lending library, emailed to your library, and then printed out for you.
The source, if anyone cares, is my two years employment as a library clerk at an academic library.
QUOTE(JukoFF @ Thu 17th January 2008, 7:49pm)
Clearly you haven't worked for any for-profit organisation whose product is written prose. You know, the ones with... "editors".
Actually, I have worked for two college papers, and was the editor-in-chief of one for a semester. That's obviously not the highest apex of journalism, but I do know the value of good editing. Wikipedia, however, does not make use of trained editors. Just because a Wikipedia editor cuts something out of an article doesn't mean there was a legitimate reason to cut that segment. They may have found the segment confusing, they may have a poor understanding of the topic and thus consider it "cruft", or they may want to white- or black-wash the subject of the article in question.
Also, while content is frequently cut from "real" writing, sources are often not. When I was writing my thesis I made tons of edits to the content of the paper, but I didn't cut any of my sources. Just because one doesn't cite a specific quote or statistic doesn't mean that the source was not used.
ETA: spelling & clarity