Britannica to allow entries from public

June 16, 2008 at 12:34 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 16 (UPI) -- Encyclopedia Britannica is planning to allow the public to contribute to its scholarly Internet entries in an effort to broaden content, a spokesman said.

"By inviting a larger range of people to contribute and collaborate, we can produce more coverage. People in the community can contribute to the improvement of Encyclopedia Britannica," Britannica spokesman Tom Panelas said.

Britannica online, which has a $70 price tag for a year of access, is recognized by many as a more credible source of educational information than Internet sources easily accessed for free, the San Jose Mercury News reported Monday.

Andrew Keen, author of "The Cult of the Amateur," says he thinks Britannica is changing its rules to compete with the free Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.org.

"Britannica is chasing Wikipedia. You can see the reforms. The reality is that they're tiptoeing in the gray zone between open and traditional media," he said.

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