39 Can. L. Libr. Rev. 12 (2014)
Citations to Wikipedia in Canadian Law Journal and Law Review Articles

handle is hein.journals/callb39 and id is 59 raw text is: liii~~ ~ Ciain  oWkpdi  nCnda  a

Sommaire
Pour mieux comprendre comment et pourquoi Wikip6dia
est utilis6 dans la doctrine juridique canadienne, I'auteur a
men6 une analyse des citations utilis6es dans les articles
publi6s dans les revues juridiques canadiennes. Cet article
pr6sente les r6sultats de cette analyse, avec une discussion
sur les implications et les th6mes possibles pour de futures
recherches. Dans l'ensemble, la plupart des auteurs
canadiens semblent 6tre tr6s s6lectifs et prudents quand il
s'agit de citer Wikip6dia. Cependant, la nature de ces citations
& Wikip6dia indique que les chercheurs juridiques peuvent
avoir besoin de d6velopper davantage les comp6tences
de maitrise de I'information quand il s'agit de soutenir des
affirmations bas6es sur des sources d'information non
juridiques (en particulier en ce qui concerne les donn6es
statistiques, les informations historiques et les d6finitions
technologiques). Les biblioth6caires de droit peuvent avoir
un rble 6ducatif important & jouer 4 cet 6gard.
Abstract
To better understand how and why Wikipedia is utilized in
Canadian legal scholarship, the author conducted a citation
analysis of Canadian law journal and law review articles.
This article presents the findings of this analysis, along

with a discussion of implications and possible themes for
future research. Overall, most Canadian authors appear
to be quite selective and conservative when it comes to
citing Wikipedia. However, the nature of such citations to
Wikipedia indicates that legal researchers may need to
develop greater information literacy skills when it comes
to supporting assertions based on non-legal information
sources (particularly with respect to statistical data, historical
information and technological definitions). Law librarians
may have an important educational role to play in this regard.
Introduction
Legal citation serves a number of important purposes,
depending on the context of the research being presented
and the nature of the information being cited. However,
there are at least two key functions that all legal citations
serve: they provide bibliographic information and also lend
credibility to an author's work.'
With respect to bibliographic information, the first sentence
of Bora Laskin Law Library's webpage on legal citation
concisely states that correct citation allows researchers to
identify and locate cited sources by providing the maximum

* @Rex Shoyama 2013. This article was peer reviewed.
** BASc (Waterloo), JD (Toronto). Rex Shoyama is a student in the University of Toronto MI program. He wishes to thank Susan Barker and John
Bolan, the instructors of the Legal Literature and Librarianship course that was the genesis of this article. He also wishes to give special thanks to the
anonymous reviewers of this article for their helpful comments and suggestions. Of course, any and all errors are the responsibility of the author.
1 Ted Tjaden, Legal Research and Writing, 3d ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010) at 21-22. See also Daniel J Baker, A Jester's Promenade: Citations to
Wikipedia in Law Reviews, 2002-2008, (2012) 7:2 I/S: A Journal of Law & Policy for the Information Society 361 at 364-65.
2014 Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothbques de droit, Volume/Tome 39, No. 2

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