Wikipedia features Encyclopædia Britannica on its main page

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

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The title page of the Encyclopædia Britannica, first edition.

The Encyclopædia Britannica today appeared on the main page of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as it became the day's featured article. Encyclopædia Britannica has recently been critical of Wikipedia in terms of the website's openness and accuracy as an encyclopedia.

Screen shot of Wikipedia's homepage featuring Britanica.

The Encyclopædia Britannica, first published in Scotland in 1768, has been critical about Wikipedia in the past due to the way it is written. Whilst the Encyclopædia Britannica is written by a team of identified contributors, 19 full-time editors and over 4,000 expert contributors, Wikipedia can be written by anyone who has access to an internet connection. The Encyclopædia Britannica claims that the differences between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannicas editorial policies make Encyclopedia Britannica more accurate than Wikipedia.

One study carried out by the news department of the scientific journal Nature, a study of 42 selected science articles showed that Wikipedia had 162 errors, whilst the Encyclopædia Britannica had 123. The Encyclopædia Britannica responded by saying that the study was misleading because certain articles were not taken from the Encyclopædia, some articles were combinations of several articles, others were simply excerpts.

Wikipedia's featured articles are to be examples of the site's finest work. Out of over 1.9 million articles that exist as of writing, there are only 1,535 featured articles. These are indicated with a bronze star in the top-right hand corner of the article.

Sources

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