Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wikipedia vs. Encyclopedia Britannica

For all the Wikipedia doubters, Nature compared science entries on Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica and found them to have about the same number of errors.

Here's the best quote about the study, from Michael Twidale, an information scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

People will find it shocking to see how many errors there are in Britannica," Twidale adds. "Print encyclopaedias are often set up as the gold standards of information quality against which the failings of faster or cheaper resources can be compared. These findings remind us that we have an 18-carat standard, not a 24-carat one."

In other words, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.