Frequently Asked Questions

Membership & Billing

 

Free Trial

 

Using the Service

 

Other Britannica Products

 

Policies

 

Membership & Billing

Why should I become a member of Britannica Online?

Britannica Online offers the quality and breadth you have come to trust in Encyclopaedia Britannica over the years, along with new features to improve your research and learning experience. Britannica Online includes thousands of articles not in the print edition. The cornerstone of this service, the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica, will be updated every two weeks, and your experience will continue to remain free of third-party banner and pop-up advertising. Members will also receive Britannica Store discounts.

Our service includes a number of other valuable content sources, such as:

 

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What is the price of a membership to Britannica Online?

Britannica Online memberships are available to individuals. Visit our membership page to get the current pricing information and to begin the membership process.

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I want to purchase a membership to Britannica Online using a credit card, but I don't want to submit my account number over the Internet. What are my options?

You can contact Britannica Customer Support by telephone, and a representative will process your membership directly. Britannica Customer Support may be reached using the following information:

Phone in U.S. and Canada: 1-800-323-1229

Phone in all other countries: 1-312-347-7159

Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 6:00pm U.S. Central Time

Fax: 1-312-294-2104

E-mail Britannica Customer Support

 

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How do I cancel my membership to Britannica Online?

How do I cancel my membership to Britannica Online? Simply go to the Account Maintenance area and follow the "Change or cancel your membership" link to view detailed instructions on how to cancel your membership. Please note that cancellations should not be considered confirmed until you have received a Cancellation Confirmation e-mail from Britannica. If you cancel a membership but do not receive a Cancellation Confirmation e-mail from Britannica within 24 hours, please contact . Membership cancellations will prevent future billings on your account but do not include refunds.

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My company will pay for my Britannica Online membership but needs to receive an invoice. Can you do this?

After you are billed for your membership, please send an e-mail to Britannica Customer Support with complete information about your company's invoice requirements. A Support Representative will contact you via postal mail or e-mail with full invoice information.

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Will I be charged tax on my membership fee?

Britannica applies tax to memberships in certain states or cities. Tax is applied when two conditions are met: 1) The state or city in which the customer resides requires that memberships delivered over the Internet be taxed, and 2) Britannica has an image/physical presence in such a state (i.e., Britannica has employees in that state). There are states that do generally tax memberships delivered over the Internet but in which Britannica does not charge tax because we have no physical presence in the state. For further information, we recommend that you refer to your state's tax code, consult materials such as CCH Incorporated's Multistate Sales Tax Review, or contact your state's comptroller.

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What is Britannica's policy regarding Value Added Tax (VAT) rates for customers in European Union (EU) countries?

In compliance with the laws concerning Value Added Tax, Encyclopaedia Britannica charges VAT to customers in the EU. Rates vary by country. For those who are interested in greater detail regarding EU policies concerning VAT, the U.S. government site for the International Trade Administration provides rate information: http://www.export.gov/logistics/eg_main_018130.asp.

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I would like to be removed from Britannica Online e-mail lists. How do I do this?

As a member, you will receive some necessary informational messages about your account. However, if you prefer not to receive product update information from us, you can remove yourself from our e-mail list by accessing the Account Maintenance. You can remove yourself from our e-mail list by clicking on the "E-mail Preferences" button at the top of the screen and then follow the "Change your e-mail preferences" link.

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How do I know if my membership has been cancelled? What happens if I think my membership has been cancelled but I’m still being billed? If I haven’t received confirmation that my membership has been cancelled, can I still be billed?

Memberships are confirmed as cancelled only when:

You receive a cancellation e-mail confirming the date on which your access will end. Please print this e-mail for your records.

If you believe you have cancelled your membership but have not received the cancellation confirmation e-mail, please contact Britannica Customer Support to confirm the status of your membership; your membership may still be open, and you may continue to be billed. Claims that a membership has been cancelled will not be entertained without the cancellation confirmation e-mail described above.

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Am I eligible for a refund if I don't use the service?

No. While we encourage our members to make as much use as possible of the many facets of Britannica Online, we will not issue refunds to members who feel that they have not fully utilized the service. Billing is based solely on provision of access, not on usage of the site.

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Is my billing based upon the number of times I access the site?

No. Billing is based solely on provision of access, not on usage of the site.

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If I don't read my credit card statement, will you issue me a refund?

No. Britannica (and, we would assume, your credit card's issuing bank) encourages you to read and be attentive to your credit card statements. If you maintain your membership beyond your desired duration due to the fact that you were not attentive to your credit card statements, that is your responsibility, and we will not issue a refund.

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If a child under my care uses my credit card to become a member of Britannica Online without my knowledge or permission, am I eligible for a refund?

This situation essentially constitutes fraud and must be taken up with your credit card company. We will issue a refund only within the predefined refund-eligible periods; i.e., within the first 30 days of use/renewal for annually renewing accounts. If the account in question is on a monthly billing cycle, the account is not eligible for refund. If the account in question is an annual account and it has been more than 30 days since billing has taken place, it is also not eligible for a refund.

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Free Trial

If I sign up for a Free Trial, am I automatically activating a paid membership at the end of my Free Trial?

Yes. If you wish to cancel your membership, you may do so at any time within the Free Trial period and you will not be billed. If you do nothing, your Free Trial will end, and your membership billing will begin. For more information about how to cancel, click here.

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Using the Service

Why can't I access Britannica Online?

Britannica Online is a membership site, so only paid members and Free Trial participants are able to access the entire Britannica Online database and complete line of special features. Members and Free Trial participants may experience difficulties accessing Britannica Online for the following reasons:

1. Your membership has expired. Please visit the Account Maintenance area to review your account status. Your log-in and password are required to enter this area.

2. You are a first-time user whose log-in and password are still being authenticated by our system. This process takes an average of 10 minutes, depending on the current amount of site traffic. If you have recently registered and are experiencing difficulty, please wait a few minutes and try again.

3. You forgot your Britannica log-in or password. Please note, your log-in for Britannica Online is the e-mail address you used for registration. If you have forgotten your password, please click here.

4. There may be a problem with your Internet Service Provider or browser.

5. You may need to clear your browser's cache. To read our FAQ about how to clear your browser's cache, click here.

6. If you are still unable to access your account, contact Britannica Customer Support for assistance. Britannica Customer Support may be reached using the following information:

E-mail Britannica Customer Support

Phone in U.S. and Canada: 1-800-323-1229

Phone in all other countries: 1-312-347-7159

Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 6:00pm U.S. Central Time

Fax: 1-312-294-2104

 

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Does Britannica Online work with Mac’s Safari browser?

Yes. Customers using Macintosh computers and the Safari browser should experience no difficulty accessing Britannica Online.

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Do you have an RSS (syndicated) feed of content from the site? How do I obtain it?

Yes, there is a syndicated RSS/XML feed of content from Britannica Online. Visit our RSS FAQ page for more information.

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Are there any Internet service providers that prohibit access to or have trouble accessing Britannica Online?

Anyone with Internet access should be able to become a member of our site without difficulty. However, customers using Direcway and WebTV to access the Internet have occasionally had difficulty loading the site due to a disjunction between the way these two Internet service providers download information and the way Britannica provides page data.

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I'm a Free Trial participant or member and I forgot my Britannica Online password. Can you help?

Please click here so we may e-mail your password to you.

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I'm a registered member and I need to change my password. How do I do this?

Please click here to change your password.

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I want to save my log-in and password to access Britannica Online. How do I do this?

Members can store their log-in and password in their browser (including Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and most other browsers). To store this information, enter your log-in and password and then check the Remember Me check box under the log-in box. After this box is checked, your information will be stored, and you will no longer have to enter it manually each time you use Britannica Online. To remove the storage of your log-in and password, simply use the Logout link at the top of the page.

Make sure to record your log-in and password before you store it. For security reasons your log-in and password will be required to utilize your Account Management options.

Please note: If you change your password, you will need to once again enter your log-in and password and then check the Remember Me check box under the log-in box.

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Can Britannica Online provide the answers to my research questions?

Yes and no. Britannica Online is one of the most comprehensive, authoritative information sources on the Internet. The search and retrieval database is designed for your use in pursuit of knowledge on a variety of topics. Britannica Online is not a research service. That is, we do not perform research for customers, nor do we supply reports with the findings on your topic of interest.

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How do I clear my browser's cache?

One reason why your access to Britannica Online might fail is that there may be an old copy of one of our pages in your browser's cache that is conflicting with the current version of the page. To rectify this situation, please clear your cache using the following instructions:

If you use Internet Explorer:

- Leave the Britannica Online home page (load any other Web site, so long as it is not Britannica).

- Click on "Tools."

- Choose "Internet Options."

- Select the "General" tab.

- Click on the "Delete" button.

- Click on the "Delete Files" button and then click "Yes" to clear the cache.

- Click the "Close" button.

- Click the "OK" button.

 

If you use Mozilla/Firefox:

- Leave the Britannica Online home page (load any other Web site, so long as it is not Britannica).

- Click on "Tools."

- Select "Clear Recent History."

- Put a checkmark in the box next to "Cache."

- Click the "Clear Now" button.

- Click the "OK" button.

 

 

To manually clear your cookie and memory caches:

 

Internet Explorer on Windows 9x/Me

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1. Close Internet Explorer, if it is running. Click “Start > Run.”

2. In the Run dialog box, enter the following: explorer c:

3. When Explorer opens, your home directory should be your C: drive.

4. From this display, double-click the "Windows" folder.

5. If necessary, click "Show Files" if there are no files displayed.

6. Double-click the "Cookies" folder.

7. In this folder, click once on the first file listed. After it is selected, choose "Select All" from the Edit menu.

8. After all the files become selected (highlighted), choose "Delete" from the File menu. This will remove all the permanent cookies from your hard drive.

9. When all the files have been deleted (click "yes" if prompted), click the “Back” button or “Up” button to return to the Windows folder.

10. From the Windows folder, double-click on "Temporary Internet Files."

11. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to delete any cached documents or temporary cookies.

 

Internet Explorer on Windows 2000/XP

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1. Close Internet Explorer, if it is running. Click “Start > Run.”

2. In the Run dialog box, enter the following: explorer c:

3. When Explorer opens, your home directory should be your C: drive.

4. From this display, double-click the "Documents and Settings" folder.

5. Double-click on the folder labeled with your name. If you do not normally log on to Windows with your name, the folder may be called Owner or default.

6. Double-click the "Cookies" folder.

7. In this folder, click once on the first file listed. After it is selected, choose "Select All" from the Edit menu.

8. After all the files become selected (highlighted), choose "Delete" from the File menu. This will remove all the permanent cookies from your hard drive.

9. When all the files have been deleted (click “yes” if prompted), click the “Back” button or “Up” button to return to the folder containing your user name.

10. From this folder, double-click on "Local Settings." *Note: This folder may be hidden. To view hidden files and folders, see the steps listed below.*

11. In the Local Settings folder, double-click on the "Temporary Internet Files" folder.

12. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to delete any cached documents or temporary cookies.

 

*To view hidden files and folders:

1. Open My Computer.

2. From the Tools menu, select "Folder Options."

3. Click the "View" tab.

4. Under the Hidden files and folder section, place a dot in "Show hidden files and folders."

5. Click “OK.”

 

Internet Explorer on Windows Vista

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1. Close Internet Explorer, if it is running. Click “Windows Logo > Run.”

2. Click “Computer."

3. Select the hard disk drive that contains Windows (normally C:)

4. Navigate to:

Windows Vista - C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low

Windows 7 - C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

5. Click “Name” to sort the files.

6. Scroll through the list of sites to find any cookies from the following sites:

- britannica.com

- eb.com

- secure.britannica.com

- www.britannica.com

 

If you find any cookies from any of the above sites, right-click on the cookie and delete those files.

7. Close the Windows Explorer window.

 

*To view hidden files and folders:

1. Open My Computer

2. From the Tools menu, select "Folder Options."

3. Click the "View" tab.

4. Under the Hidden files and folder section, place a dot in "Show hidden files and folders."

5. Click “OK.”

 

Mozilla/Firefox

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1. Leave the Britannica Online home page (load any other Web site, so long as it is not Britannica).

2. Click on "Tools."

3. Go to "Options."

4. Click on the "Privacy" button.

5. Click on the "remove individual cookies" link.

6. Scroll through the list of sites to find any cookies from the following sites:

- britannica.com

- eb.com

- secure.britannica.com

- www.britannica.com

 

If you find any cookies from any of the above sites, click on the cookie to highlight it and then click the "Remove Cookies" button.

7. Click "OK" once you have removed all of the pertinent cookies.

8. Restart your browser so that the changes can take effect.

 

After you have manually cleared your cookies, please enter the following URL in your browser’s address bar and log in to Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com

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Other Britannica Products

What are the differences between Britannica Online and Britannica Software (CD and DVD) products?

Britannica Online and Britannica Software (CD and DVD) both contain the text of the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica plus thousands of additional articles and images not available in the print set, natural-language searching, and A-Z browsing. Additionally, Britannica Online is continually updated to provide the most current information possible.

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Where can I find pricing and descriptions of other Encyclopædia Britannica products?

To review and purchase Britannica products, please visit The Britannica Store. If you would like to place your order with a Britannica Support Representative, please call 1-800-323-1229.

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Where can I find technical support for Britannica CD and DVD products?

Technical support for Britannica CD and DVD products, including frequently asked questions and contact information, can be found at the Britannica Technical Support site.

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Does Britannica have a Spanish-language version of the online service?

No. At this time, Encyclopaedia Britannica does not have a Spanish-language version of our online service for consumers. We do have a Spanish-language print encyclopedia, which can be found at The Britannica Store (http://store.britannica.com).

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Policies

How do I obtain permission to use images from Britannica Online?

Unfortunately, Britannica cannot give explicit permission for you to use the images and diagrams that appear on Britannica Online because third-party companies hold the copyright to most of them. Granting you permission to use them would leave us in violation of our own copyright agreements. Luckily, most of the images on Britannica Online are displayed with the name of the original copyright owner listed in the credit. If you wish to use one of these images, you are free to contact the copyright owner for permission.

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What are Britannica Online's terms of use regarding its content?

All materials on this site are protected by international copyright and trademark laws. Using these materials for commercial purposes is prohibited, except as otherwise expressly permitted under applicable law or as described in the Terms of Use.

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Can I place a link to Britannica Online on my site?

You are welcome to provide such a link, with the following restrictions:

- You may not use our logo on your site.

- You may not use any of the content of Britannica Online on your site.

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What are the Terms of Use for Britannica Online?

Acceptance of Britannica's Terms of Use is required of every member prior to completion of the membership process. To refresh your recollection of the terms, read the complete Terms of Use.

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What is Britannica Online's privacy policy?

Britannica Online does not sell or otherwise disclose any personal information, nor does it perform "reverse searches" to identify Britannica Online users from their e-mail addresses. Britannica reserves the right to analyze client data to help optimize users' experiences on Britannica Online. Read our complete Privacy Policy.

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What is Britannica Online's policy on mature content?

Every site included in Britannica Online's Internet Guide has been examined by a Britannica Online editor or suggested by a contributor and reviewed by an editor. We do not include explicitly pornographic or violent sites, but some recommended sites do address mature or controversial themes and feature adult language. See our full Editorial Policy on Mature Content.

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