Encyclopedia Brittanica

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Jesus vs. Dragons
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Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:48 pm

Is it worth paying for the subscription, or is there somewhere that is cheaper and as good as this?
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by vcuEvan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:51 pm

TheLessFamousEthan wrote:Is it worth paying for the subscription, or is there somewhere that is cheaper and as good as this?
You probably already have access to it through your school.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:09 pm

vcuEvan wrote:
TheLessFamousEthan wrote:Is it worth paying for the subscription, or is there somewhere that is cheaper and as good as this?
You probably already have access to it through your school.
Is there any way to access it through my home computer, or is it only available at the school?
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:24 pm

TheLessFamousEthan wrote:Is there any way to access it through my home computer, or is it only available at the school?
Many institutions have proxy servers available for remote access to electronic resources (here's ours). Ask your librarian.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:25 pm

TheLessFamousEthan wrote:
vcuEvan wrote:
TheLessFamousEthan wrote:Is it worth paying for the subscription, or is there somewhere that is cheaper and as good as this?
You probably already have access to it through your school.
Is there any way to access it through my home computer, or is it only available at the school?
I know in my case, I have to log in to prove I'm a student before utilizing such resources from an off-campus network. I'd check your school's library website.

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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Mettius Fufetius » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:44 pm

If you don't have academic access, you might find the free Columbia Encyclopedia useful. It seems to have good breadth, if not much depth.

(Edit: WORDS)
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:17 am

If for some reason you can't connect through your school, chances are high you can access it through your community's public library.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:53 am

yeah I looked on my schools website, and all it appears to have is "Linccweb," which is useless in almost every way possible.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:13 am

All the CCs in florida provide access to numerous online databases, Ethan, and indeed, that comes through LINCCweb, which is NOT useless.

I just looked at Chipola's list of databases, and it doesn't appear to have Britannica, but you should ask a librarian just in case. In the meantime, through LINCCweb you can access Grove Music, Humanities Full Text, numerous lit databases, JSTOR, science databases, etc., so you really have sources that are more thorough than an encyclopedia in almost every subject field.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:41 am

ValenciaQBowl wrote:All the CCs in florida provide access to numerous online databases, Ethan, and indeed, that comes through LINCCweb, which is NOT useless.

I just looked at Chipola's list of databases, and it doesn't appear to have Britannica, but you should ask a librarian just in case. In the meantime, through LINCCweb you can access Grove Music, Humanities Full Text, numerous lit databases, JSTOR, science databases, etc., so you really have sources that are more thorough than an encyclopedia in almost every subject field.
Oh, I guess I need to do more investigation into Linccweb, as I haven't ever seen anything useful (most likely do to my lack of experience with it.)
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:58 am

FWIW, I have never found Encyclopedia Brittanica to be useful in writing questions. Maybe I'm just not reading the right version, but the articles seem too short and introductory to serve as a clue mine for anything beyond an extremely basic difficulty level.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:25 am

Whig's Boson wrote:FWIW, I have never found Encyclopedia Brittanica to be useful in writing questions. Maybe I'm just not reading the right version, but the articles seem too short and introductory to serve as a clue mine for anything beyond an extremely basic difficulty level.
EB certainly isn't a clue mine for difficult questions; but I've found it reasonably useful for concerns such as "this needs another late-middle clue" and "is this giveaway really the most famous clue about X?"

Which may make it more useful to editors than writers; and perhaps especially to editors who see substantial volume of low-difficulty questions.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:02 am

perhaps especially to editors who see substantial volume of low-difficulty questions
E.g., anyone preparing a CC tournament.

Anyway, Ethan, when you go to your library site, click on "LINCCweb" and then "Databases" and then log in with your student ID. There are tons of things there that are awesome for question writing. And the library itself I bet is filled with books, which are, you know, filled with information and stuff you can use for question writing.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:18 pm

I hear the internet is full of information, you don't really need Encyclopedia Brittanica...I've never used it writing or editing, though I guess I can see how it might be used for low-difficulty stuff like Borglum says. I don't mean to encourage bad habits, but if you need that kind of basic information about Thing X (and there isn't some decent source about it on the net), just go to Wikipedia or something and make sure you cross-Google whatever you find to ensure it isn't utter bullshit.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:21 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote:I hear the internet is full of information, you don't really need Encyclopedia Brittanica...I've never used it writing or editing, though I guess I can see how it might be used for low-difficulty stuff like Borglum says. I don't mean to encourage bad habits, but if you need that kind of basic information about Thing X (and there isn't some decent source about it on the net), just go to Wikipedia or something and make sure you cross-Google whatever you find to ensure it isn't utter bullshit.
I disagree. Britannica has some very in-depth information about lots of topics, particularly history. Like any encyclopedia, it has some variance in terms of the depth afforded to any given subject, but a lot of the information in it is very useful. I write a lot of questions using it as a source.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:28 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote: just go to Wikipedia or something and make sure you cross-Google whatever you find to ensure it isn't utter bullshit.
This was my main problem. It just seems that wikipedia is the only organized place that you don't have to wade through tons of crap to get actual information. So far that has been exactly what I am doing, but I just ASSUMED that EB would have as much information as wikipedia, without the possibility of someone editing in that they found a moon or something.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:30 pm

Having to look up every single thing you find on Wikipedia a second time to verify that it's true is a waste of time. Just go to the non-made-up sources first.
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:25 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Having to look up every single thing you find on Wikipedia a second time to verify that it's true is a waste of time. Just go to the non-made-up sources first.
Very good point
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:23 pm

this just brings up the point that a vast number of college students are unaware that their school libraries are supplying these databases to them, when it costs a lot of $$$
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Re: Encyclopedia Brittanica

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:09 pm

For the record, I've found Britannica highly useful throughout my career, though it's probably not essential for quizbowl.

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