Macmillan announced today that it will be ending its print edition of the popular dictionary and opting for an online-only format, beginning next year. The new digital dictionary will be found at Macmillan Dictionary Online will be the new home of future updates to the dictionary.
Editor-in-chief Michael Rundell told Charlotte Williams of The Bookseller, “The traditional book format is very limiting for any kind of reference work. Books are out of date as soon as they’re printed, and the space constraints they impose often compromise our goals of clarity and completeness. There is so much more we can do for our users in digital media.”
Rundell’s basis for the announcement was that digital lends itself better to the kind of updating that dictionaries require. Rather than waiting several years for sales of the outdated dictionary to taper off enough to justify the expense of publishing another edition, the publisher can add new words to the online dictionary as they become recognized.
This news followed the announcement from HarperCollins earlier this year that it will be releasing its iconic Collins World Atlas as a digital edition for tablets, which allows the publisher to take advantage of the interactive benefits that tablets allow. The online destination for the Macmillan dictionary will continue to be found at MacmillanDictionary.com, along with other features that the publisher hosts at the site.