Signs of Our Times: Encyclopædia Britannica Ends its Print Edition

#History

Wed, Mar 14th, 2012 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

First published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1768, the Encyclopædia Britannica has announced that it will discontinue its print edition and solely provide digital versions available online. It currently has 4,000 copies of its print edition left in stock, but once those are sold, that's pretty much it.

"Britannica was one of the first companies to really feel the full impact of technology, maybe 20 years ago, and we have been adapting to it, though it is very difficult at times," he said.

While Encyclopedia Britannica has continued to operate, he expected "many trade publishers will not survive -- and any content development company will have to be thinking about how they are going to fill the gap."

As to whether print editions of books will be viable products in the future, Cauz predicted, "print may not completely vanish from the market, but I think it is going to be increasingly less important. Many publications will never have a print analog and will only be printed on digital formats."

With its scholarly, reliable reputation, Encyclopedia Britannica had not been affected by the popularity of free website Wikipedia, he said.

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