Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a reliable source
This is an explanatory supplement to the Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources guideline.
|This page in a nutshell: Do not use a Wikipedia article as a source for another Wikipedia article, even when describing Wikipedia.|
Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism. Biographies of living persons are especially vulnerable to this issue. Some of the article information might not be accurately true, which is therefore considered to be wrong.
- Wikipedia generally uses reliable secondary sources, which vet data from primary sources. If the information on another Wikipedia page (which you want to cite as the source) has a primary or secondary source, you should be able to cite that primary or secondary source and eliminate the middleman (or "middle-page" in this case).
- Always be careful of what you read: it may not be consistently reliable.
- Neither articles on Wikipedia nor websites that mirror Wikipedia can be used as sources, because this is circular sourcing.
- An exception to this is when Wikipedia is being discussed in an article, which may cite an article, guideline, discussion, statistic or other content from Wikipedia or a sister project as a primary source to support a statement about Wikipedia (while avoiding undue emphasis on Wikipedia's role or views, and inappropriate self-reference).
- Does Wikipedia Suck? on teaching students to evaluate sources