Wikipedia forces the release of a Norwegian encyclopedia

Previously reported by Jon Harald, and a few weeks ago on foundation-l, but I wanted to highlight the good news again:

Our “national lexicon” here in Norway, Store Norske Leksikon, went online with its new free edition today. The new edition has user contributed articles. The chief editor says some of the reason for the new edition is the harsh competition from Wikipedia, especially no.wikipedia.org which outnumbered their previous article count last year, now counting 209,079 articles. Also the alternate version nn.wikipedia.org (a variation in Nynorsk) is growing steadilly, now counting 46,466 articles. Store Norske Leksikon now claims they has 300,000 articles after inclusion of two other encyclopedias, a medical encyclopedia Store medisinske leksikon and a biographical encyclopedia Biografisk leksikon. Previously they had 155,000 articles.

Wikipedia in bokmål should have 300K articles around February or March next year, it depends on how we will be influenced by the changes in SNL.

The Norwegian Wikipedia was launched in 2001. It’s one of the top 25 language editions of Wikipedia.

Further from the mailing list:

The release has been given a lot of press coverage, and some comparisons between the encyclopedias has been done. Two of them, in Dagbladet and Dagsavisen, has concluded that Wikipedia is best. According to Aftenposten the new edition will cost Kunskapsforlaget and their owners Aschehoug og Gyldendal NOK 25 mill over the next 3 years, approx USD 3.6 mill.

cf. Britannica asking for reader contributions

14 March, 2009 •

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