Wikipedia is a great discovery tool. We tell students that they shouldn’t cite from it, but they can use it to discover information which they can verify at other websites and resources. It's also helpful for discovering keywords to use in a database search when a student is not very familiar with the topic.
Example of appropriate use:
For example, if students are asked to identify and research a U.S. museum, then they could review the List of museums in the United States and then plug the name of the museum into a library database to find articles or Google locate the museum’s website where they would gather more reliable information. So a student uses Wikipedia to identify a museum to research, but then doesn’t cite from Wikipedia. It’s simply used as a stepping stone on the research journey, rather than the destination or end point.
Take a look at, and feel free to share with students, our Quick Answer: Can I use Wikipedia?.