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Encyclopaedia Britannica launches free Chrome Browser Extension

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Before there was Wikipedia there was the Encyclopedia Britannica and with a Chrome browser extension, the venerable publication’s entries are a click away.

Britannica Insights™ is free and after installation is located the top-right corner of the search results page. It helps to cut through clutter, save time and provides access to an authoritative resource.

“For 250 years, Britannica has defined what it means to provide trusted and verified information,” said Karthik Krishnan, global chief executive officer of the Britannica Group. “With the addition of this latest extension, Britannica Insights will make it easier for everyone from children to curious adults to professional researchers to find trustworthy results faster. Now more than ever, how we discover information matters.”

Britannica Insights is available for download and delivers on the promise, “Save time. Learn more. Be sure.” Watch the video here. Britannica Insights works with major search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others – on the Chrome browser.

A serious problem, Krishnan noted, is that most web searchers refer to the top 5-10 results they get and walk away with an answer that may not be accurate. He pointed to four factors, which together explain why finding credible information is getting harder:

  • Current search engine algorithms are not yet advanced enough to differentiate between credible and plausible information.
  • Searchers click beyond the first page less than five percent of the time to look for more credible information that may be buried in back pages.
  • On user-generated content sites an answer could be right today and wrong tomorrow because of warring factions trying to slant information to benefit their own agendas.
  • On social media it is hard to discern whether the information is coming from verified sources.

Britannica Insights, powered by the world’s largest verified semantic general-reference dataset, surfaces unique relationships and uncommon insights. This capability enables Britannica to derive interesting relationships that are not directly encoded but can be logically derived from facts. For example:

  • A search on “climate change” presents both quick facts as well as a “deep dive” into coverage of climate change through geologic time and the impact of climate change on rivers, glaciers and icebergs.
  • A search on Barack Obama brings up not only a basic overview of his life and presidency but also deeper coverage of his role in historical events such as the Syrian Civil War.

Britannica Insights is the latest resource in the toolbox. Another recently launched initiative, Demystified, provides engaging and revealing answers to commonly asked questions such as: What’s the difference between veins and arteries? Does listening to Mozart in the womb really make babies smarter? Britannica also makes it easier for young learners and non-native English speakers to look up word definitions without leaving the page by linking hard words to definitions from Merriam-Webster, a sister company.


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