Bizwiki Blog

Encyclopaedia Britannica To Follow a Modified Wikipedia Model

In a move that we see as another validation the user-submitted and collaborative approach that Bizwiki is founded on, The Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced that it is opening up to allow user submissions to its 240-year-old publication.

This is a major move for Britannica, which has not just resisted the concepts of peer-production but been famously critical of the wiki model of gathering information until now.

In another parallel with what we’ve been doing on Bizwiki, Britannica intends to edit and moderate changes to their core information, attempting to merge the best effects of the grassroot compilation and editing of information that has made Wikipedia great with the authority of the traditional encyclopedia.

In their announcement Britannica have said that it is their intention to create “a welcoming community for scholars, experts, and lay contributors”.

Britannica hopes that by editing all changes to its core base of information before they are posted online they will be able to receive input from their users while remaining a trusted source. Their registered users and scholars will be able to post about new topics without intervention, but Britannica says all articles on new topics will be fact-checked and vetted before appearing in their main edition.

In similar way, while open to entries from all our users, Bizwiki requires users to register before making changes, and certain key parts of business records require approval by trusted editors.

Whether it will be possible for Britannica to compete with the entirely open model that Wikipedia has entrenched remains to be seen, but we wish them well. As a business site, we believe that it’s vitally important that users can trust and rely on information, and that registered users are much less likely to make careless or malicious edits of competitor’s information.

It may be the case that there is still room for a similar approach in the realm of online-Encycopedias.

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