While plenty of professors have complained about the lack of accuracy or completeness of entries, and some have discouraged or tried to bar students from using it, the history department at Middlebury College is trying to take a stronger, collective stand. It voted this month to bar students from citing the Web site as a source in papers or other academic work. –Scott Jaschik –A Stand Against Wikipedia (Inside Higher Ed)
A commenter makes the point I wanted to make: “Why is this even an article about Wikipedia? Citing ‘World Book [Encyclopedia]‘ would be twice as bad.”
Well, maybe not twice as bad, but the problem is that any encyclopedia collects knowledge distilled from other sources. An academic research paper should use those direct sources, not summaries pulled together by encyclopedia writers (whether those writers be experienced professionals or amateurs).