Answered By: Lynn VanLeer
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2019     Views: 1623

You can use Wikipedia as a starting place to gather preliminary information, but you will not cite Wikipedia as a source in scholarly work. You will want to find other, more reliable and scholarly sources for your academic work.

Note:  Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia which anyone can add to or edit. You will want to fact check anything you find there.

What are some common and acceptable uses of Wikipedia?

  • Check the spelling of an author, theorist, or scholar's name.

  • Find a preliminary bibliography of works by a specific author, theorist, or scholar.

  • Read about a topic to find keywords to use in a Library database search. 

  • Find an introductory overview of a concept or topic to aid your understanding.

  • Check the entry's references for the original source material.


The Walden Library has online encyclopedias and dictionaries in the Library for Walden students, faculty and staff to access. These are a trustworthy source of preliminary or background information on your topic.

See our encyclopedia and dictionary collections.


More Information:


Do you have other Library questions?  Ask a Librarian!

Related Topics

More Information

Need more information? Ask us!

Or browse Quick Answers by Topic.