Your Institution on Wikipedia


Most likely you’ve visited Wikipedia when searching for basic information on the web. It is one of the most visited sites on the Internet and has become successful in part due to the collaborative community development style of the content. Users create an account with Wikipedia and are free to edit information on any entry (assuming it’s accurate, sited when necessary, and relevant to the entry topic-or it will be taken down).

There are many people, especially in academia, who do not consider Wikipedia a credible source of information on a topic because the contributors may not be considered “experts.” Yet in this increasingly social world there is great value in collaborative information and putting the monitoring and editing privileges of that content into the hands of the users. While Wikipedia is usually not the most complete source on a topic it can provide an introduction and overview as well as external links to related content.

If you haven’t already looked up your institution on Wikipedia I can almost guarantee that a page already exists. It’s a very good idea that you visit your institution’s Wikipedia entry, if you haven’t done so already, to ensure the information posted is accurate. You can also add basic information, program offerings, demographics, and the official website address if it is not already included.

What you want to keep in mind is that you don’t add significant and specialized content especially if you are an official institutional representative. Wikipedia seeks for un-biased entries crowd-sourced from various users and does not appreciate officials from the organization adding marketing messages, slogans or any overtly promotional content to related pages.

It is said that Wikipedia actually monitors IP addresses for content contributors and if they see a large amount of content coming from a single user, or group of users on the same network, it sends a red flag to the developers.

Having said that, it is always important to monitor and manage the content related to your institutional brand and Wikipedia should definitely be considered part of your online portfolio presence.

Here’s a related article on this topic from eCampus News.


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5 responses to “Your Institution on Wikipedia

  • Maria Cato Parnell

    Just as new words are added to the dictionary, I believe Wikipedia’s image will improve in time. I allow my students to use Wikipedia as long as they have additional sources.

  • MacKenzie Hizon

    That’s great, Maria. I agree; I think it can be a useful source as long as students use additional sources for their work. Wikipedia can be a great starting point and can often include citations to more detailed works on a subject.

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