The Britannica Tradition of Quality

January 8, 2015

We’re often asked…

How does an article make its way from concept to publication? 

Who actually writes the articles? 

Why is Britannica so trusted?

This new infographic, The Britannica Tradition of Quality, explains it all through a behind-the-scenes look at our rigorous publishing process.

Over the course of more than 200 years, Britannica has developed a thorough and meticulous editorial system to deliver the most trusted information worldwide. As a result, students and educators across the globe have unparalleled access to expert knowledge in all subject areas, all aligned to today’s curriculum.

What does that really mean for a student or a teacher preparing for class? It means that when they are formulating their inquiries and conducting research, they can tap into the minds of thousands of authors and contributors like these—all in one site:

Comparing the life of a child in Russia to one in North America?

Trust the Russia article written by Marc Raeff, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies at Columbia University and author of Origins of the Russian Intelligentsia and others, and Andrew B. Wachtel, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University and author.

Working on career choices?

Take a look at the nursing article by Patricia D’Antonio, Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing and Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and Coeditor of Nurses’ Work: Issues Across Time and Place.

Looking at the automotive market or manufacturing? Lee Iacocca, president and chairman of the board at the Chrysler Corporation from 1979-92, wrote the article on Chrysler and the article about founder Walter P. Chrysler.

Studying international affairs?

Get a first-hand account of the Dayton Accords, the 1995 peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia, from former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Are your students writing about their favorite people, places, or things?

Dance enthusiasts can use the ballet article by Ivor Guest, ballet historian and author, and Marion Kant, musicologist, dance historian, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. For the student who chose the U.S. Open, check out the article written by Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus.

Looking for more depth on a science topic?

Explore the nervous system, co-written by Solomon D. Erulkar, former Professor of Pharmacology at University of Pennsylvania, and Thomas L. Lentz, Professor of Cell Biology at Yale University and author of Primitive Nervous Systems. Reporting on tornadoes for the science fair? John Snow, Dean of the College of Geosciences at the University of Oklahoma, wrote the article on tornado.

And that’s just the beginning!

The best and brightest minds in the world—4,500 and counting—provide the articles that make up one of the most-trusted and up-to-date information resources anywhere. Add to that expertise from an editorial team that is 100+ members strong, with copy editors, fact-checkers, and even children’s editors that revise original articles to make them reading-level appropriate.

How does all of this brain power fit into today’s schools and libraries? As we teach students how to conduct effective research, the ability to objectively evaluate sources for credibility and accuracy before using them is critical. Many students simply accept the legitimacy of the online sources they find, instead of scrutinizing the quality and accuracy that 21st-century information literacy demands. Britannica’s role is to provide easy access to the clarity and quality that students are looking for and that educators require.

I hope you have enjoyed this “insider” look and see how The Britannica Tradition of Quality is one that you, your colleagues, and students can thoroughly trust and put to use on a daily basis.