General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

How do physically volumized encyclopedia compare against wikipedia?

Asked by Ltryptophan (11158points) January 16th, 2012

Wikipedia’s strength is its accessibility, its updateability, and its price.

What is World Book and the Encyclopedia Brittanica doing to compete in this new market place? What are their comparative strengths?

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8 Answers

auhsojsa's avatar

Well they are far more reliable in the sense of true reporting and having had fact checks. Not saying Wikipedia is complete crap because it’s turned around over the past 6 years. But a journalist that pulls from Wikipedia as a main source would be laughed at amongst other journalists. So I’d say it lacks 100% respect in that sense. Also college professors won’t be suggesting students to study off of Wikipedia anytime soon. But I like Wikipedia, but I also like published works that have gone through professional copy writing and stuff of that nature.

YARNLADY's avatar

With internet access to Britannica I would say they have the advantage because of fact checking and limited to carefully vetted information. Of course, Britannica Online is a pay for use site, while Wikipedia is free.

wundayatta's avatar

And sometimes not so good information is better than no information. Wikipedia is fastest to get new stuff because of dispensing with fact checking. Sometimes they get it right the first time. Sometimes you get screwed.

zenvelo's avatar

Wikipedia is much more comprehensive. There is a page on my local park/reservoir/hiking area. You won’t find that in the Britannica.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Wikipedia is just as accurate as Britannica, and several studies in fields like pathology, toxicology, oncology, and pharmaceuticals have determined that Wikipedia is just as reliable as peer-reviewed journals. Which, personally, makes me really wary of peer-reviewed journals.

However, the big upside to Britannica and the like is that you can cite it, and you can’t cite Wikipedia in academia at the moment.

marinelife's avatar

Well, primarily it is the strength of the content. Wikipedia is very uneven. Both of the encyclopedias that you mention are written by experts.

mattbrowne's avatar

Many of Wikipedia’s articles are far superior to the entries in traditional encyclopedias. While it’s true that encyclopedias are written by experts, these experts are often no match for the collaborative expertise of online editors. Fifty pairs of eyes see more than two pairs of eyes, but not always.

Traditional encyclopedias will end up in museums pretty soon.

citizenearth's avatar

To their credit, traditional encyclopedias are reliable and trustworthy. They look good on the bookshelf too. And they are expensive, but you can opt for software version which is much cheaper. Wikipedia is somewhat useful and practical, especially when you are online and need some information quickly. Wikipedia is free!

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