The networked life of professional encyclopaedias: quantification, tradition, and trustworthiness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article aims at making visible new orders of encyclopaedic knowledge by means of an ethnographic study carried out during eight months at the editorial office of the leading commercial encyclopaedia in Sweden, Nationalencyklopedin. The investigation is framed in a socio-technical understanding of how people, technologies and practices relate to each other. Three themes were identified during the analysis: Organisation of labour amongst the editors, the use of statistics, and NE as a producer of facts versus a producer of analysis. The analysis revolves around the ambivalence, uncertainty, sometimes even friction, between traditional encyclopaedic knowledge and network culture. The often routine-based practices of updating articles meets ideas of project work, of open data, of algorithms and most of all of quantification.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Studies


  • information studies, encyclopaedias, trust, socio-technical perspective, digital culture, Nationalencyklopedin
Original languageEnglish
JournalFirst Monday
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Jutta Haider, Johanna Rivano Eckerdal & Olof Sundin

Erik Philip-Sörensens stiftelse för främjande av genetisk och humanistisk vetenskaplig forskning


Project: Research

View all (1)