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Posts Tagged ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., announced that two of its Web sites are winners of the 2008 Codie Awards from the Software and Information Industry Association.

Britannica Online School Edition was named Best Education Reference or Search Service, and the Britannica Blog took Best Corporate Blog honors at the association’s gala in San Francisco. A complete list of Codie Award winners is available at http://www.siia.net/codies/2008/winners.asp.

The Codie Awards are among the most coveted prizes in the software and digital-content industries, and Britannica’s latest victories cap a long series of Codies the company’s digital products have won since the 1990s.

“Naturally, we’re thrilled,” said Michael Ross, a senior vice president with Britannica and general manager of the company’s education division. “The Codies have enormous prestige. They’re highly competitive awards because industry leaders pick winners from hundreds of products. This year more than 1,100 excellent ones competed for the top spots.”

A comprehensive reference and learning resource for grades K-12, Britannica Online School Edition is designed for all ages, with content clustered in distinct sections for the primary, middle and upper grades. It provides students and teachers with an extensive combination of reference information and interactive learning tools. It features Encyclopaedia Britannica’s award-winning encyclopedias serving students of all ages; extensive multimedia; current periodicals; Britannica’s proprietary, editor-checked Internet guide; and a growing number of primary sources. A recent addition is the Britannica Learning Zone, a skills-based environment for children from preschool to Grade 2.

School Edition is meant to be as relevant in the classroom as it is in the library or media lab. Its contents are thoroughly aligned to all state standards and include hundreds of lesson plans and other learning materials.

The Britannica Blog is a place where writers and readers hold lively discussions on almost every topic from art to zoology. More than a hundred bloggers have contributed to the daily postings, including radio quiz show host Michael Feldman; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis; Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams; Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum; Internet experts Nicholas Carr and Clay Shirky; and sports commentator Frank Deford. The blog holds forums on special topics, such as the religion of the American Founders, Web 2.0, the cult of celebrity, the future of newspapers, and Iran.

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Bloggers, webmasters, online journalists and anyone else who publishes regularly on the Internet can now get free subscriptions to Britannica Online.

Anyone interested in participating in Britannica’s new WebShare initiative can apply for a free subscription at http://signup.eb.com or get more information at http://britannicanet.com.

The free subscriptions are part of Britannica’s effort to increase awareness and use of its extensive information resources, which include articles written by many top scholars, some of them Nobel laureates.

“It’s good business for us and a benefit to people who publish on the Net,” said Britannica president Jorge Cauz. “The level of professionalism among Web publishers has really improved, and we want to recognize that by giving access to the people who are shaping the conversations about the issues of the day. Britannica belongs in the middle of those conversations.”

In addition to the free subscriptions, Web publishers can also bring the value of Britannica’s content to their own sites by linking to any articles they find relevant to the topics they’re writing about.

Access to much of the site, including full-text entries from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, normally requires a paid subscription. There’s an exception to that rule, however: When a Web site links to a Britannica article Web surfers who click on that link get the article in its entirety.

“This means that when you’re writing something for the Web, whether it’s about Tibet, the U.S. presidential election, global warming or the Peace of Westphalia, you can give your readers additional information about the topic just by pointing them to the appropriate Britannica articles,” said Cauz. “If an article normally requires a subscription to access it, your readers will get it anyway, even if they’re not subscribers.

“Bloggers, journalists, and Web sites link all the time, of course, but they may not realize they have the option of pointing to Britannica articles. So let me be clear: they do.”

Cauz said that Web publishers can link to as many Britannica articles as they like. The company also plans to provide special tools, such as widgets and clusters of topical articles related to current events that will make it easy for online publishers to find and use Britannica material on their sites.

The public is also invited to follow Britannica’s Twitter stream, a daily “tweet” featuring a link to a Britannica article pertinent to the news of the day. This feature, at http://twitter.com/EBWebshare, requires a free account.

Additional features designed to facilitate the use of Britannica content around the Web will be introduced in the months ahead.

Interested writers and publishers can go to http://britannicanet.com for more. The site has instructions, a registration form, currently available topic clusters, eligibility guidelines, and a Britannica-written blog to keep visitors up to date on the program and how it is being used. The social media version of this release is available at http://britannicanet.com/?page_id=34.

About Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a leader in reference and education publishing whose products can be found in many media, from the Internet to cell phones to books. A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company also still publishes the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, along with services such as Britannica Online School Edition and new printed products, which are available online at http://store.britannica.com. The company makes its headquarters in Chicago.

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