Martin Braendle - Chemical Information Media in the Chemistry Lecture Hall: A Comparative Assessment of Two Online Encyclopedias

Document created by Martin Braendle on Aug 22, 2014
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  Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

  Korosec, Lukas; Limacher, Peter Andreas; Luethi, Hans Peter;   Braendle, Martin Paul, CHIMIA 64(5), 309-314 (2010)


  The chemistry encyclopedia Römpp Online and the German universal   encyclopedia Wikipedia were assessed by first-year university   students on the basis of a set of 30 articles about chemical   thermodynamics. Criteria with regard to both content and form   were applied in the comparison; 619 ratings (48% participation   rate) were returned. While both encyclopedias obtained very good   marks and performed nearly equally with regard to their accuracy,   the average overall mark for Wikipedia was better than for Römpp   Online, which obtained lower marks with regard to completeness   and length. Analysis of the results and participants' comments   shows that students attach importance to completeness, length and   comprehensibility rather than accuracy, and also attribute less   value to the availability of sources which validate an   encyclopedia article. Both encyclopedias can be promoted as a   starting reference to access a topic in chemistry. However, it is   recommended that instructors should insist that students do not   rely solely on encyclopedia texts, but use and cite primary   literature in their reports.

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