From New Scientist:
Despite carrying user-generated content, Wikipedia has often been criticised for being tough to edit – even by its co-founder Jimmy Wales. But researchers have found another way in which the Web 2.0 wonder might leave people gnashing their teeth: it’s much harder to read than that old favourite of doorstep salesmen, Encyclopedia Britannica.
The news comes from a Japanese study whose preliminary results were revealed at the Conference on Information and Knowledge Management on Maui, Hawaii, last month. Information scientist Adam Jatowt of Kyoto University and Katsumi Tanaka of the Japan Science and Technology Agency compared articles written on the same subjects in Wikipedia and the online version of Britannica. Their aim was to see if Wikipedia articles truly deserved to be top of the Google search rankings on so many subjects quite so often.
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See Also: Findings of New Study on the Readability of Wikipedia
Report on a study from the Netherlands.