Wikipedia (Group 6)
Continuing with some of the similar themes as the blogging vs. professional journalism discussion, I think that the question of Wikipedia's trustworthiness and quality is one that is even more important to be considered, given the rapid ubiquity of its presence in mainstream culture. The example of the scientific articles is interesting, and I think some of the issues pointed out by Britannica in their response to the "Nature" study are valid, though embedded within their particular vision of what an encyclopedia should be. I feel that this definition is changing for the younger generation, and it's a change that needs to be acknowledged and worked with.
When I think of the question of how some might use Wikipedia incorrectly, I can instantly picture a stressed, under-motivated middle school student scrambling at the last minute to complete a paper for American History or some similar topic turning to Wiki simply as a quick source for lots of relevant information. As a result, the student may not have the full picture of the given topic and might write an entire paper on how the number of African elephants has skyrocketed in recent months.. This presents a great risk to the academic process, and I think it's difficult to argue against the statement from Britannica and others that it's difficult to fathom trusting entries that could have been edited by 10-year-olds, for all we know.
That said, some of these concerns aren't necessarily new, and the academic realm has been able to deal with previous issues of a similar nature. Look at SparkNotes and similar online ventures as an example. It's extremely easy to "borrow" paper ideas, or even complete blocks of text from these sources that have their particular viewpoint on the literary work of choice. Through a little bit of research and awareness, however, instructors have worked around this assault on academia, and now SparkNotes is simply seen as a "dirty secret" of sorts for students, when used as a direct influencer of paper content. Although literary criticism, analysis and summary is quite different from more black-and-white subject areas like math or science, I think similar tactics would allow for young students coming up through the ranks to realize the position that Wikipedia holds for them.. It's simply a matter of further de-institutionalizing convenience for students and drawing a designation between peer-edited open source and scholarly-reviewed and created closed source.