[Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia spanks Encarta, Brockhaus

Sj 2.718281828 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 2 05:46:25 UTC 2004

Brockhaus "must concede defeat" to Wikipedia

c't, the popular german magazine for computer engineering, just
released a study they conducted of the three major digital
encyclopedias in germany -- Brockhaus, Encarta, and (most recently)
Wikipedia.  They tested the encyclopedias on breadth, depth, and
comprehensibility of content, ease of searching, and quality of
multimedia content.

The content test was the most elaborate : first they divided content
in three broad fields, Science, Society, and Culture.  They further
subdivided these into 22 total subject areas, and within each subject
selected an easy, a moderate, and a difficult topic.  They then
searched for the best matching article (and supplementary content) in
the encyclopedia.

Finally, they brought in experts in each broad field who rated the
articles from 1 to 5, based on technical correctness and completeness
of the texts, and on their comprehensibility.  Once this was finished,
the results were totalled at each level of conceptual difficulty,
within each broad field, and across all 66 topics.

The net result: Wikipedia ran away with the top prize, a comfortable
distance ahead of its stately predecessors.  "Brockhaus Premium
surpassed the competition from Redmond," the review reported, "but
must however concede defeat to Wikipedia".

Happily, the full breakdown of the experts' ratings were published
along with the article, so that each encyclopedia may benefit from the
spot check.

A full translation will be available on meta presently : 
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia vs Brockhaus and Encarta

Grab a copy of the original at your local international-pubs shop, if you can.


Encyclopedias: Wikipedia vs. Brockhaus and Encarta (pg. 132)


More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list