September 20, 2006

Wikipedia vs. Encyclopaedia Britannica

Nature magazine has submitted a selection of science articles from Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia to peer review. The experts found numerous errors in both encyclopaedias-- the average science entry in Wikipedia had four inaccuracies, and in Britannica, three. Eight serious errors were found in the articles that were reviewed, four in each encyclopaedia. There were also many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.

Wikipedia wins in terms of volume, accessibility and speed, and Britannica is only marginally better in terms of accuracy.

Of 1000 authors of Nature articles surveyed, 17% consulted Wikipedia on a weekly basis but less than 10% helped to update it.


At September 23, 2006 5:08 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

I've seen several debates between the founder of Wikipedia and the head of Britannica and while they are interesting debates, the point is already moot. The fight is over. Even if Britannica is better, Wikipedia has won. When I search on something, it is Wikipedia that shows up in the search results.
So, for all the arguments and claims by Britannica that they are better, they do not show up to compete. Even if I did see their results in google, I couldn't get the info without paying. (is that correct? See, I've never even been to their site to know)

At September 26, 2006 9:45 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I have the Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 installed on my computer. Its slow. The graphics aren't that good. You can't cut and paste their text. I only end up using it when I'm offline.


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