Category: reference publishing

The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)

That word “modern”, of course, always raises problems. As soon as you label a book as “modern” it appears outdated very quickly. So the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, first published 1977, now looks very dated. Nonetheless, a title that survived three editions (1977, …

Will Wikipedia ever get their facts right?

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Image: Ryan McGuire

Editing Wikipedia appears to some (including me) to be an endless road – it goes on and on, and is never concluded. And that doesn’t mean it gets better – even when highly experienced Wikipedia editors are on the case. Here is …

Tom McArthur, Worlds of Reference (1986)

Tom McArthur’s book is essential reading in the world of reference, although perhaps that is faint praise for a subject that has so few books dedicated to it. However, reading the book is tough going. The author makes it difficult for us to reach the …

Brockhaus dies, and Wikipedia lives

Bertelsmann’s announcement of the closure of Brockhaus encyclopedias (June 2013) is indeed the end of an era. The Brockhaus encyclopedia style was fundamentally different to that of Britannica. While of similar size, its focus was very different. As Wikipedia states, “the work was intended not …

Principles of Reference Publishing

I used to think that reference publishing was somewhat out of date; that nobody produces reference works nowadays, ever since Wikipedia took over the encyclopedia market.

But it is clear that reference publishing is not dead. It has changed, with digital delivery, and it has …

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