Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nature+Wikipedia vs. Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica has picked a fight with science journal Nature regarding the latter's study that compared the veracity of the former's articles vis-a-vis with the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

In December 2005 Nature released the study about Wikipedia's accuracy, and went to the extent of extolling scientists to help write and edit articles on the online encyclopedia.

Brtiannica called Nature's conclusions, which say that Wikipedia had an almost comparable accuracy as that of Britannica, as bad science. Nature reported that in 50 chosen pairs of articles that it reviewed, Wikipedia had 162 errors while Britannica had 123 errors.

According to Britannica, "Almost everything about the journal's investigation, from the criteria for identifying inaccuracies to the discrepancy between the article text and its headline, was wrong and misleading. Dozens of inaccuracies attributed to the Britannica were not inaccuracies at all, and a number of the articles Nature examined were not even in the Encyclopedia Britannica. The study was so poorly carried out and its findings so error-laden that it was completely without merit."

Nature, in its response, said that it will not issue a retraction.

No comments: