Wikipedia is better than Brockhaus Encyclopedia

December 6, 2007 at 6:13 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | 2 Comments
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Wikipedia That is to say: German Wikipedia is better than Brockhaus online, the latter being the German equivalent to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a comparison conducted by German magazine Stern has shown. They cross-checked 50 randomly selected entries (“Hartz IV”, “U2”, “Penicillin” or “Moses”) and gave marks for Accuracy, Currency and Ease of Understanding.

The results: 43 Wikipedia articles were “better” than Brockhaus’s, mainly for reasons of currency _and_ (surprise!) currency. Brockhaus, for instance, did neither know about Pararotti’s death nor about the Noble Prize for Doris Lessing.

Too bad the study didn’t give examples of accuracy, as it would have been interesting to know their notion of accuracy.

What I thought was surprising: Brockhaus, even though NOT written by laymen, was easier to understand. It seems as if Wikipedians like to impress with elaborate sentences and exclusive terminology:-)


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  1. While it may be better, It is very hard for anything to rival the Britannica.

  2. I read the Stern article. The big surprise was that (The German version) Wikedpdia wa also more ACCURATE than Brockhaus, which employed professional editors.

    “…Überraschend siegte Wikipedia beim stern-Test auch in der Rubrik “Richtigkeit”. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass hier Freiwillige gratis gegen professionelle Redakteure antreten, war dies nicht zu erwarten…”

    ‘Richtigkeit’ means correctness.

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