Based on the paper another user posted about incontinence, and the questions that came up there, I thought I'd start a thread on wikipedia and referencing. This is really dorky, but bear with me.
How do you guys feel about using wikipedia for serious research? An article in Nature about a year ago showed that Wikipedia is as accurate on the natural sciences as the Encyclopedia Brittanica (in some ways more so). On the other hand, anyone who wants to can edit it, regardless of what they actually know or what information they cite. While it's ultimately self-policing, any particular iteration might have inaccurate information. I'm inclined to think it's a good place for an overview. Sometimes it cites very useful peer-reviewed articles and research, though--it can point you in a good direction.
Second, what referencing system do you like? I used APA and MLA in school, and use Oxford or Chicago footnotes at uni. Do you prefer footnotes, endnotes, parenthetical? Do you use endnote? Dork out--enjoy!
I like Chicago best, as I think it provides the most information (Oxford doesn't include publisher, and while I haven't needed the publisher yet there are circumstances where it might be useful). I hate endnotes--they're a big fuck you to people using a text, although they make producing a book typographically simpler. I like to have references at the bottom of a page, where you can refer to it quickly. I hate author/date parenthetical systems. They aren't so dreadful for an article with a handful of sources, but for a book or for a great many sources, it's very tedious to keep track and refer back to the bibliography. That said, I like parenthetical referencing for referring to one text over and over. It's particularly useful for political theory, when you're examining one or two texts very carefully--you can just cite chapter and section each time. And if there are multiple translations or editions, the Chapter/Section reference is sometimes more useful than a page reference. Obviously page and chapter/section references ought to be used together.
What do you guys think?