Last December, the journal Nature asked scientists to compare the quality of science articles in the Wikipedia with those in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They found the accuracy to be about equal.
As you can imagine, the scholars at the Britannica were not too happy and have recently fired back at the study.
In a document on their website, Encyclopaedia Britannica said that the Nature study contained “a pattern of sloppiness, indifference to basic scholarly standards, and flagrant errors so numerous they completely invalidated the results”.
Let’s face it, there are few, if any, 100% accurate sources – in print or on the web. That’s why one of the information literacy skills we need to be teaching kids is how to question and double check the sources they use. All sources.
However, in this comparison between the venerable, paper-based Britannica and the upstart, web-based Wikipedia, there’s one critical question. Which source will have its errors corrected faster?