I wrote a few weeks ago about Store norske leksikon (SNL), the well-established Norwegian paper encyclopedia that’s gone digital with a mixture of Wikipedia-style user-generated content and experts for different topics who put the “quality assured” stamp on certain, specially-vetted articles. Now it’s still early days and presumably the system’s not quite, well, quality assured yet, but there are some embarrassing mistakes at this point. Such as this: a “quality assured” entry on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning that gets the acronym wrong. It’s collaboration, not communication, as UiB researcher Frode Guribye pointed out on Twitter a few days ago.

screenshot of SNL definition of CSCL, March 18, 2009

And yes, I clicked the comment button, so presumably the expert in question has received a note about it.

But seriously, with this many errors, SNL should definitely put the beta stamp on the whole site, as Eirik Newth suggested a while ago. It really damages their long-term credibility when we see all these mistakes – and personally I find the ads hard to swallow for a site that’s supposed to be serious public information. Makes me realise how I love that the Wikipedia has no ads. And the discussion pages where you can see other peoples’ comments in Wikipedia – awesome! As it is, someone coming across that “quality assured” page would have no idea that it’s wrong, and that several people have pointed that out.

3 thoughts on ““quality assured”

  1. Mad Mullah Hastur

    Don’t forget that the articles on homeopathy and other “alternative medicine” in SNL were written by practitioners, and not actual medical experts. It was embarrassing. Thank goodness, Even Gran and other decent people reacted and got SNL to change the texts. They’re still leaving it in the hands of incompetent people… but what else can we expect? Wikipedia is still better, and Google’s “expert-written” alternative has obviously failed.

  2. Arne Krokan

    It`s funny. When SNL goes digital,all the errors are discovered. Svein Sj¯berg, professor at the University of Oslo, wrote an article in Aftenposten the other day (http://www.aftenposten.no/kul_und/article2977094.ece) showing how topics of alternative medicine were covered. It seams like they really need the beta-label, even if this is supposed to be the best general encyclopedia in this country, -or maybe the best encyclopedia that also existed in print?

  3. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Well, they’ve fixed this error now, anyway. I really do like the transparency of the Wikipedia!

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