Britannica's answer to Wikipedia: a website that allows users to post content

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London, Jan 23 (ANI): Britannica, the 240-year-old Encyclopaedia, has taken a hands-on approach towards rival Wikipedia-it has launched a new online version where users can contribute and edit content.

Entering into the world of Web 2.0, Britannica will allow users to edit and contribute articles on its site, much like Wikipedia.

But Britannica offers perks for its users, as they can get their name attached to the submission.

However, the website won't cater to the "voyeuristic" lot, as all submissions will be strictly chosen on the basis of content and facts, revealed Britannica 's president, Jorge Cauz.

"We're not trying to be a wiki - that's the last thing we want to be," The Times Online quoted Cauz as saying.

He added: "Britannica doesn't offer that voyeuristic benefit. Users won't be able to write anything they want and have it published. Each contribution will be verified and fact checked by our editors."

He further added that the Britannica site was "definitely not as popular" as Wikipedia, attracting about 1.5 million people each day compared with Wikipedia's approximate 6 million visitors a day.

"But we're not trying to be a tabloid or reality TV [type of product]. We are a different type of animal, catering to a different type of crowd," he said.

Cauz claimed that the majority of its content would be written by its 2500 - 4500 regular experts, unlike Wikipedia.

However, he said that with the wide reach of the web it can tap into many more potential contributors.

"Britannica is widely used in the academic market. Many of the top universities around the world have access to it. We want to tap into the many experts that may have something to say that could improve our content," he added.

Articles submitted by non-academic users will be put in a separate section to expert-generated Britannica content, as will content submitted by non-Britannica scholars.

Also, they will attach a robust history to each article with details of the changes made and who made them.

"We really want to make sure that there is a certain amount of accountability from contributors," said Cauz. (ANI)

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