Truly sad news today as The Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced that it is to cease publication. As an academic publication, we are truly gutted here at Young Academic to see one of the most iconic volumes of books the world has seen fall by the wayside, as sites such as Wikipedia continue to dominate.
The encyclopaedia has enjoyed 244 years of continuous print but the intensification of digital and social media has ultimately resulted in people no longer seeing the use of books when they can simply type a query into Google.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica launched in Edinburgh back in 1768 and since that time, a new version of the compendium has been available every two years. The latest thirty two volume collection cost £1,195 but suffered poor sales figures
Despite ultimately been killed off by technology, the encyclopaedia was one of the first publications to move into the electronic age. It introduced a digital version in 1981 for the Lexis-Nexis academic service and its online edition came out when the internet really took off back in the early nineties – 1994 to be precise.
“The print edition became more difficult to maintain and wasn’t the best physical element to deliver the quality of our database and the quality of our editorial,” president Jorge Cauz said.
The company will keep selling print editions until the current stock of around 4,000 has gone.