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I remember my excitement as a child when I gazed up at the heavy encyclopedias sitting on the shelf. The wonder of the knowledge contained in those books was almost overwhelming, and they were so helpful when I had reports to write for school.

With the wealth of current information available on the Internet today, the printed encyclopedia has almost become extinct. But thanks to companies such as Western Standard Publishing, the online versions of these encyclopedias are thriving.

Orem-based Western Standard Publishing is an electronic publisher. The company has millions of users through its diverse content databases on Web sites such as World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica and its own The company boasts millions of pages of unique and original content in demand from elementary and high schools, libraries, colleges, and universities around the world.

Mark Anderson, chief executive officer, tells me the company acquires proper licensing to re-edit and publish original documents. His team of skilled researchers and editors painstakingly go through each document to correct errors and verify facts before publishing digitally-produced versions of the documents.

Mark is a lawyer by trade. Originally, he was an investor for a company called Infobases that was later split into several companies including Bookcraft, and Western Standard Publishing. Twenty years later, Mark says it's exciting for Western Standard to be involved with the two largest encyclopedia companies and publish articles on topics that include literature, science, mathematics and history.

Western Standard Publishing continues to find ways to make information more accessible for its users, which may eventually include some type of topical analysis. In the meantime, Mark plans to continue serving the company's extensive academic clientele.

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