Judicial Citation to Wikipedia in Published Federal Court Opinions Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • February 28, 2019
  • Stoddard, Morgan M.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • Although Wikipedia is an extremely popular website and is useful for casual or preliminary research, the propriety of using Wikipedia for serious research and citing to it is the subject of fervent debate. In the legal field, this debate rages on in the context of judicial citation to Wikipedia in court opinions, with the primary focus on whether Wikipedia should never be cited or if it is an acceptable practice as long as Wikipedia is used to obtain tangential information only. This study analyzes judicial citation to Wikipedia in published federal court opinions in an attempt to determine when and why Wikipedia is cited by federal judges. The results of this citation analysis were illuminating and at times troubling and surprising. Most significantly, this study discovered that Wikipedia was used to obtain information important to the outcome of the case in just over one-third of all opinions.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Kimbrough, Julie
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 82
  • Open access
Deposit record
  • abb1808a-3405-4d7b-866b-f35807dc08b2

This work has no parents.