Encyclopedia Britannica Online Edition Free for Limited Period

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Encyclopedia Britannica Inc, announced that it will stop publishing its 32-volume print edition (retail value $1400) after 244 years, and instead focus on its digital versions. The Encyclopaedia Britannica is a general knowledge book brought out first in three volumes in 1768 by three people.

Each edition of the Britannica is written and updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,400 contributors. It is regarded as one of the most scholarly of English language encyclopaedias and  remained roughly the same size for the past 70 years, consisting of 40 million words on a half-million different topics. The current 15th edition, published in 2010, consists of 32 volumes — a two-volume index, a 12 volume Micropaedia, and a 17 volume Propaedia.

The decision to go all-digital comes for Britannica after 244 years of hardcover editions, and means that countless bookshelves are weighted with the last of their kind — the expensive, 32-volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica.First published in 1768 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Encyclopedia has been published every year since, and became the gold standard of encyclopedias.Britannica has been hinting for some years that this day would come, sooner or later.

“This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google,” Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz said. “This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.”

“Everyone will want to call this the end of an era, and I understand that,” Cauz says. “But there’s no sad moment for us. I think outsiders are more nostalgic about the books than I am.”

The announcement marks the end of a shift away from print publication that started in 1981 when Britannica created its first digital collection. It released its first multimedia CD in 1989 and in 1994 it moved to the Internet, launching the first online encyclopedia. A mobile version came in 2000, for the Palm platform, and it was followed by a number of apps for Apple’s mobile devices over the years. In 2011 the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica was made accessible through an app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The online version of the encyclopedia, which was first published in 1994, represents only 15% of Britannica’s revenue. The other 85% is sales of education products: online learning tools, curriculum products and more.

Encyclopedia Britannica Online Edition :

Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer publish a print edition. The book will be available in a digital form online and the service will cost $70 a year for full online access, or $1.99 a month for the iPad edition.

But the editors of Britannica announced that the online edition of Britannica will be entirely free for a full week beginning today and from next week the online version will show only passage or segment of article, for further reading you have to subscribe or pay for the online edition.

So check out Britannica Online : http://goo.gl/eBdyb