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Britannica Online seeks Wikipedia-like community

Amendments will be reviewed by editors first

In a bid to rival Wikipedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online is rolling out new community features and expanding its material online.

The encyclopedia plans to increase the size of its online community of authors, who will be encouraged to keep their articles up to date. The website is also offering users a 'Suggest Edit' button on articles, which allows users to suggest changes that could be made.

However, unlike Wikipedia, changes suggested on the Encyclopaedia Britannica sites will be reviewed and approved by editors before they go live.

"We're eager for editorial suggestions from our readers, and we'll review and act on them as quickly as we can, but no one can actually change a Britannica article except our editors," said the website.

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"We are not abdicating our responsibility as publishers or burying it under the now-fashionable 'wisdom of the crowds'," added Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica in a blog.

"We believe that the creation and documentation of knowledge is a collaborative process but not a democratic one."

Users who suggested changes will be credited in the article and when viewing an entry, visitors will also be provided with a list of everyone who contributed as well as a history of recent changes.

See also: Flagged Revisions tackle dodgy Wikipedia entries

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