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"Please do not quote Wikipedia in reports" - Councillor's plea to officers

PUBLISHED: 15:33 23 January 2019

Conservative councillor Thomas Smith has urged officers not to use Wikipedia for reports. Picture David Bale

Conservative councillor Thomas Smith has urged officers not to use Wikipedia for reports. Picture David Bale

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Council officers have been urged not to use a well-known online encyclopaedia when preparing committee reports.

A report to Norfolk County Council’s digital innovation and efficiency committee turned to Wikipedia when providing a definition of a term included in it.

The approach was criticised by committee member and Conservative councillor Thomas Smith, who said it would have landed him in hot water had he done the same in his school days.

He said: “Please do not quote Wikipedia in reports. When I was at school we would get detention if we did that.

“It does not strike the right note with me.”

The report in question referred to the online resource, which members of the public can contribute to, for a definition of the term “agri-tech”.

It said: “Wikipedia defines agri-tech as the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture with the aim of improving yield, efficiency and profitability.”

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