Encyclopediac Accuracy

The BBC are reporting a study looking at the accuracy of scientific articles on Wikipedia and the the Encyclopedia Britanica. In the articles examined, 8 serious errors were discovered, 4 in each of the sources.

In order to test its reliability, Nature conducted a peer review of scientific entries on Wikipedia and the well-established Encyclopedia Britannica.

The reviewers were asked to check for errors, but were not told about the source of the information.

“Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopedia,” reported Nature.

“But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.”

By focusing on the more scientific articles they appear to have avoided some of the more editorial inaccuracies about people and more recent events.

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