OAQ: Occasionally Asked Questions
Q: Encyclopaedia Britannica, what’s up?
A: Glad you asked. The short answer: We’re busy.
Remember that we provide timely, relevant, and trustworthy information and instructional products for homes, schools, universities, libraries, and workplaces around the world.
Considering how much questionable information there is out there these days, you can imagine what kind of weighty responsibilities fall on those of us who are determined to give people sources they can trust. There’s simply no rest. Not that we’re complaining.
Q: You published that big encyclopedia. And then you stopped, right?
A: Not exactly. We stopped publishing the print set.
The encyclopedia is very much alive—more than ever, in fact, in many digital forms, online and on mobile devices. It’s bigger, better, and richer than it was in print, easier to use, and, just as important, online we can nurture an entire community of learners and researchers around the Britannica and all of our content, a community where people share their knowledge with others at the same time they’re learning new things themselves. The Internet and mobile interaction create a host of new possibilities, and we’re making the most of them.
Q: So now you publish digital encyclopedias?
A: Well, that and a lot more.
We’ve gone way beyond traditional “reference.” In today’s networked world the scholarly and intellectual work we do serves learning in many new ways. As just one example, we now create high-quality instructional products for K-12 classrooms—products like LaunchPacks: Social Studies, which saves teachers time and provides them with just materials they need for lessons; and Pathways: Science, which helps teachers correct common misconceptions about science among middle-school students.
Besides great editors and scholars, our teams include instructional designers, user-experience specialists, teachers, school administrators, and others—all the people you need to make great educational products. It’s fun, and it keeps us on our toes because the markets we serve are always hungry for new and better products, and we intend to give them what they need.
Q: But it must be hard for you in today’s digital world. I mean, you’re an old company and kind of stodgy, aren’t you? No offense intended, of course.
A: None taken.
We’re actually chockablock with people who are tech and Internet savvy—technologists, editors, media producers, product designers. Our network of experts inside and outside the company includes some of the sharpest and most contemporary minds around.
We work fast, we work smart, our time-to-market cycles for new products are getting shorter all the time, and we’re doing it without sacrificing quality, which is the hallmark of our name. We’re actually something of a paradox—a 246-year-old start-up, you might say.
Q: Anything else?
A: Oh, lots more.
But we won’t keep you. Please get to know us again. Look around our company site, enjoy it, and, if you have a mind to, get in touch with us and let us know how we can help you.