Skip to Content

Encyclopædia Britannica – Wikipedia

« Back to Glossary Index

**Encyclopædia Britannica Overview**:
– 15th edition published in 2010, last printed edition before transitioning exclusively online.
– Printed for 244 years and competed with Microsoft Encarta and Wikipedia.
– Includes Micropædia for quick fact-checking and Macropædia for detailed articles.
– 2013 Global Edition had around 40,000 articles.
– Articles revised regularly since 1936.
– Britannica Junior, Children’s Britannica, and abridged versions available.
– Specialized reference works like Comptons by Britannica and Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite.
– Book of the Year published annually since 1938.
– Notable contributors include Carl Sagan and Michael DeBakey.

**Transition to Digital**:
– 2010 edition was the last printed version, with 12,000 sets printed and sold out by late April 2012.
– Adaptation to digital distribution with optical disc, online, and mobile versions.
– Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2012 DVD with over 100,000 articles.
– Online version with more than 120,000 articles, regularly updated.
– Mobile version launched in collaboration with AskMeNow.
– Opened for public contributions and edits in 2009.

**Corporate Structure**:
– Purchased by billionaire Jacqui Safra in 1996, with Don Yannias and Ilan Yeshua serving as CEOs.
– Jorge Aguilar-Cauz appointed President in 2003, and Karthik Krishnan as global CEO in 2017.
– Editorial board of advisors with distinguished scholars.
– Britannica announced in 2013 that all future editions would be digital.

**Comparison with Competitors**:
– Encarta was a notable competitor among CD/DVD-ROM digital encyclopedias.
– Britannica and Encarta occupied the same price range.
– Britannica’s digital version criticized for bias towards US audiences.
– Wikipedia is the main online alternative, offering articles in more languages.
– Key differences with Wikipedia lie in accessibility and editorial policies.

**Reputation and Criticism**:
– Britannica known for excellence since the 3rd edition, with popular and critical acclaim.
– Received awards like the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award and recognition as a Top Ten Superbrand.
– Coverage includes topics chosen based on the Propædia Outline of Knowledge.
– Criticized for editorial choices and depth of coverage on certain topics.
– Britannica’s reputation extends to its role in summarizing knowledge and coverage of various fields.

« Back to Glossary Index