Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that they will no longer publish the print edition of their most hallowed general reference resource (CBC news report). Since its first publication in 1768, Britannica has brought knowledge to the masses. In the pre-Internet era, Britannica was the most complete and most reliable place for information on practically everything.
Britannica has published online editions for many years. I have been saying for some time that print reference is dead. People want information online, and online functionality serves our information needs so much more powerfully. There is no doubt that Britannica’s online editions continue in the company’s long-established tradition of excellence. What has shifted so dramatically though is its status as the ultimate authoritative general reference source. There is no longer a place for “most hallowed” as information access and knowledge creation proliferate and notions of authority shift so dramatically in this most exciting information era.
Britannica explains the shift to fully digital.