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Studying online

The data and information published in paper encyclopedias could usually be considered completely verified. The editorial staff responsible for the data and definitions included in these great books were very meticulous, consisted of great experts and excellent scientists. Sometimes, even without knowledge of surgery or breeding genetically modified organisms – you can quite effectively acquire such basic knowledge and edit it in a way that will help all other potential seekers find and understand specific definitions in this field. Efficient editorial elaboration of slogans contained in numerous encyclopedias and scientific materials is undoubtedly one of the foundations of the success of the encyclopedia. In Poland, the possession of a beautifully published multi-volume encyclopedia of the universal PWN was an absolute proof not only of knowledge and reading, but also of culture and social statute. Reading passwords and family checking of various facts was something completely natural, and the knowledge presented by PWN was not subject to any reservations – it was possible to copy these facts in the debate with other scholars or base them on school or student tasks.

All this meant that at the time of the great success of the Internet as a means to global communication, encyclopedias were also prepared in digital form. The advantage of such a solution over classic paper publishing seems obvious – above all it is price and availability. A set of a multi-volume encyclopedia costs a lot and is quite unwieldy to use, the more you can not take it with you on a journey. An important element decisive for the gradual disappearance of such large books from circulation is also the fact that you can not add new entries or edit those already written once. Scientific knowledge changes quite regularly, and especially in recent years, there is a rapid change in trends in some scientific fields. Despite the sincere desire and reliance on the most up-to-date scientific data, some definitions described twenty years ago in the PWN encyclopedia, today completely can not withstand the clash with new facts.

Digital encyclopedias of all these problems, of course, do not have – they can be edited a thousand times during the day, be richly illustrated or supplemented with video materials and other source aids for even better organization of a given slogan or scientific field. However, all these strengths require the maintenance of very expensive servers and technical support – but when everyone enjoys something for free, and the site does not even have an investor or sponsor, along with domain extension and number of users and ask, the costs of running such an encyclopedia grow. Because access to scientific knowledge should be a common good, not limited to only one group of recipients, the effort of all people in the world should also be common in striving to maintain and develop this project of a generally accessible and always living encyclopedia.