Feeds

Encyclopaedia Britannica nukes print edition, goes digital-only

Citation not needed

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.