Non-Wikipedia Options

In my last blog I mentioned the monopoly Wikipedia has on the Internet, and how I think it can be used.  There are of course other options!

3 of which I enjoy using for general research.  The first is good for science articles, I advise looking here before anywhere else, and it can be found at www.scholarpedia.org.  It does not have sections on everything so often searches will return empty, but if you do have a match for a topic such as neuroscience, it is a peer-reviewed encyclopaedia written by experts in the field – much more reliable and much better referencing.

The second is part of the Wikipedia family; www.wikiquote.org.  This is great to find out where to get hold of famous phrases or speeches.  It is also fun to use to type in a topic, such as music, and see all the different quotes from around the world people have made in reference to it.  Not always reliable in terms of good referencing, but fun to use anyway.

The third is a newer creation called www.ancientopedia.com.  It is a peer-reviewed site dedicated to Ancient History.  At the moment it is not full and many of the articles are un-referenced.  However, they are in a volunteer recruitment drive for more peer reviewers at the moment so these issues should be resolved very soon.  What the site is good for already is the section at the bottom, which has a list of recommended books to read on the topic, with images that make them easier to identify in shops!  I do have a bias to this site as I am now one of their peer reviewers and soon to be one of their writers; however, it is worth keeping an eye on it as it will soon become a valuable source for history students and enthusiasts alike.

So, to conclude, there is more out there than Wikipedia, much of which is more useful and more reliable.  If you are going to use Wikipedia remember to use it carefully, and also with the knowledge that there is better information available to you.

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