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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia – Glaring Differences

Jeremy Wagstaff's blog LOOSE wire has this interesting post covered from a BBC report regarding Lucian George, a young british kid who discovered not one but five errors in this year's edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Lucian whose favourite subjects are history and nature,found inaccuracies regarding eastern European. Lucian wrote to the Enyclopedia Brittanica editor, after examination, admitted the errors and said they are grateful to Lucian and promised to have the mistaks rectified. Jermey also points to this link listing other known errors in Enyclopedia Brittanica.

Jeremy writes in defence of Wikipedia on criticisms for inaccuracies saying these overlook its mindboggline advance and its inestimable value as a reference when the most revered encyclopedia in the world can be just as prone to inaccuracies. The key difference Jeremy says, is Encyloepedia Brittanics is a printed volume and prone to be preserved in its form for sometime and revisions would have to wait for the subsequent reprint. Needlesss to say, someboby having an older version may choose not to look at the latest release.In the case of Wikipedia such issues can be immediately rectified and there would be one current version available to all at the sametime.

My Take :Recently,wikipedia said they are in the process of complete revision of content by baselining existing content. Technology has hit Enclopedia Brittanica with a very hot blast - may be Encyclopedia may have to start a wiki lisitng errors and revisions – that may be the solution in this instant spot-rectify-upgrade-review world.

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