22 January 2013
Wikipedia Vs. Britannica The controversial comparison between Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia can be looked at from several different viewpoints. Is one more reliable than the other? And if so, which one?
“Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to”. (Kocsis, F.M., John) Because this website is open for anyone to take part of, skepticism fills the minds of many people. Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website in the world. What frightens people about Wikipedia isn’t what is published, but who has published the information. Are they a reliable source? Is the information accurate and up to date? There are editors that volunteer their time to edit and review the articles published to Wikipedia. However, no one is perfect. The editors don’t always catch every mistake and mislead of information.
“Britannica is an updated online encyclopedia with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites”. (Britannica)Britannica is approaching a Wikipedia-like model when it comes to taking collaborations from contributors online. (Lonescu, Daniel) Before, Britannica only allowed users to comment of already given information, and didn’t have the option to contribute and edit information. Britannica was written by experts on the matter being discussed and therefore was reliable to online users.
Which website is more reliable is often the question asked when comparing Wikipedia and Britannica. For many articles on Britannica, you can submit images, videos or audio clips, but it’s still not to the scale of Wikipedia, where anyone can contribute to an article. However, contributions are evaluated and edited by a very complex system of volunteer editors, (Lonescu, Daniel) unlike Wikipedia. Wikipedia allows contributions of not only images, videos, and audio clips, but also information and articles.
Wikipedia has a large variety of articles to choose from. Though the information given may not always be reliable. Britannica doesn’t have as much information as Wikipedia, but the