arisvega writes: Wikipedia is a great idea, really. Ideally, a healthy and neutral way to "ask the internet" for information. From a scientific point of view it is going very well; more than often I see students, staff and professors using it in all seriousness and professionalism as a starting point for a project, following the references, learning a lot, even ending up editing something themselves. Those are lucky; usually access behind paywalled refereed journal articles is covered by the institution they work at, and is transparent- but for others, or in the case one just ends up with an ISBN code reference, there really is not a simple way to get the information needed. Either you buy the book, or swarm your local library with a list (and with a hope they would have most items) and stay over for days. As if that was not enough, the www wikipedia references (which provide the only access to folk with no scientific journal or library access) are more than often circular or just plain wrong. So I ask you, Slashdot-prowling beings, a) how frequently do you need to look at the references because the article itself is not good enough, b) how do you treat paywalled / ISBN / bad / circular www references and c) do you believe that there will EVER be such a thing as a free, non-greed driven, public, electronic and global library that people can access ISBN books that "normally cost money to buy", on the same grounds that you do not buy books from libraries, but still have access to them? After all, this is the information age, right?
"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always
high, and the results usually disappointing."
-- Robert Orben