We don’t view the open system as inherently superior in all respects; it is different, and it has some major strengths and of course raises some important challenges. The strengths include a much greater timeliness, a much more comprehensive coverage, and the wide range of inputs means a good chance at a more balanced and more neutral coverage.
Britannica draws from a community, just as Wikipedia does. Ours consists of more than 4,000 scholars and experts around the world who serve as our contributors and advisers. Our system is designed to produce sound, informed judgments that lead to balanced presentations of the most controversial subjects. Longer articles often involve multiple contributors and, importantly, all Britannica contributors are directed to include alternative points of view wherever applicable. We continually revisit controversial articles, and since we publish principally on the Internet we can revise them when we see fit to do that.
Read the Wall Street Journal’s publication of the debate between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Dale Hoiberg, senior vice president and editor in chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Commentary from Ars.