Britannica Puts Its Powers on the Web
Helping to tame the information jungle is Britannica Online, a subscription-based service that is authoritative and comprehensive. Drawing not only on all of Encyclopedia Britannica's own resources (all 32 volumes), there are also bibliographies and thousands of links to related topics both within Britannica and throughout the Internet; all are continually updated on the service by EB's editors.
A natural-language search engine lets students type questions in ordinary English, or Boolean operators can be used to narrow searches. The list of matching articles are ranked in relevance. One can print and save all text and images. Among the unique features to the service are Britannica's Lives, a listing of biographies sorted by birth date; Propaedia, which shows the service's information in outline form; and Current Interest, articles relevant to today's headlines and calendar dates.
Separate pricing exists for elementary and secondary schools, for public libraries and for universities; in general, most academic institutions pay less than $1 per student. Educators and librarians can receive a free two-week preview. Britannica Electronic Products, Chicago, IL, (800) 554-9862, http://www.eb.com.
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1996 issue of THE Journal.