Feeds

Encyclopaedia Britannica nukes print edition, goes digital-only

Citation not needed

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Encyclopaedia Britannica is ending its hefty 32-volume print run after 244 years as it shifts its business entirely over to the digital publishing market.

Sales of the world's oldest English-language encyclopaedia will continue until the company's remaining stock of 4,000 sets is depleted. A new edition of the collection is published by Encyclopedia Britannica every two years. The first print run was put together in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768.

The company already generates 85 per cent of its revenue from online sales, so the decision to axe its printed edition is not a surprising one.

"The sales of printed encyclopaedias have been negligible for several years," president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Jorge Cauz told the BBC. "We knew this was going to come."

El Reg could now add a throwaway comment about Jimbo Wales here, but we'd rather leave it to the great man's website Wikipedia instead, which notes without a hint of irony:

The Britannica has had difficulty remaining profitable. Some articles in earlier editions have been criticised for inaccuracy, bias, or unqualified contributors. The accuracy in parts of the present edition has likewise been questioned, although criticisms have been challenged by Britannica's management.

It also repeatedly suggests, with little in the way of citation, natch, that Wikipedia is a serious rival to Encyclopaedia Britannica.

That's apples and oranges according to the company's MD Ian Grant, speaking in 2009.

"I think the comparison is a non-debate, because we offer something very different. Wikipedia is a fun site to use and has a lot of interesting entries on there, but their approach wouldn't work for Encyclopaedia Britannica," he told Econsultancy.

"My job is to create more awareness of our very different approaches to publishing in the public mind. They're a chisel, we're a drill, and you need to have the correct tool for the job."

Ouch. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.