This time last month, the whole world could have learned the following about Emory's president, James W. Wagner:
He won an award for trout fishing in Lullwater.
He goes by the nickname "Harry."
His brother Clyde is a "renowned big game hunter."
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone with Internet access can edit, listed these fast facts in an entry on Wagner.
The one problem? None of them are true.
The same online user responsible for the Wagner entry wrote that Emory's unofficial mascot, James W. Dooley, got his characteristic limp from "receiving a handjob from Robert W. Woodruff's daughter."
But only one minute later, another user came along and returned the entry to its correct version, which reads "Dooley's limp supposedly came from playing handball with Woodruff's daughter."
As the Wagner and Dooley entries show, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction on Wikipedia.
But this hasn't stopped some students from relying on the online encyclopedia as a jumping-off point for academic research.
Many students find it easier to search on Wikipedia, where they have access to free and immediate information, instead of trudging to the library or paying for a subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
College freshman Dani Charles uses Wikipedia for background information, not specific facts, because he knows the site is not always reliable.
"I use it to familiarize myself with the topic," Charles said.
Emory's faculty offer mixed opinions on use of the site. Benjamin Hary, a Middle Eastern Studies professor, accepts general information gathered from Wikipedia but said students must be able to back up all of their statements.
Still, Hary does not like for students to use it.
"Sometimes it's very comfortable to find quick answers, but they're not peer-reviewed," he said.
And that can have major consequences.
In May, the Wikipedia entry on John Siegenthaler, an administrative assistant to former Attorney General Robert Kennedy, was edited to include information linking Siegenthaler to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.
But Wikipedia supporters counter that the site's users, who all have editing privileges, ensure that false entries are quickly fixed.
And a study released in December by the journal Nature found that Wikipedia is about as accurate as Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The average science article on Wikipedia contains about four errors, while the average science article in Encyclopedia Britannica contains about three, the journal reported.
But with less well-read entries, it can take much longer to fix errors.
The Wagner information stayed up for nearly two months, and the Siegenthaler accusation was online for 132 days.
Despite this, some faculty say they are still skeptical about using the online resource.
Jennifer Hughes, a graduate student in the English department, said problems arise because information found on Wikipedia has not gone through the same academic review system as published books.
"What is necessary to figure out is what your sources are," she said. "You have to consider slant and political bias."
Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Thomas Lancaster said the lack of authoritative verification for sites like Wikipedia means they should not be a primary resource for research.
"Anybody can put up anything they want," he said.
Other students take an even more cautious approach to the Web site.
"I was taught you never cite Wikipedia," College freshman Lisa Rodziewicz said.
College senior Steve Schneider only used Wikipedia once for academic research - and again, did not use the site for specific statistics.
"You always have to doubt the veracity of an online source," he said.
Despite Wikipedia's shortcomings, as the Web becomes more and more a primary source of information, students say they do not plan to stop using it anytime soon.
And as for Emory's trout fishing President "Harry?"
The entry was corrected earlier this month, Wagner wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel.
"[I] guess I'll have to call off the search for my long-lost brother Clyde," he wrote.