Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A review of Google Books, from AHA blog

Follow the link in the title above to read a thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing review of Google Books from the American Historical Association blog, written by Robert B. Townsend, on April 30, 2007. Here is a snippet:

Over the past three months I spent a fair amount of time on the site as part of a research project on the early history of the profession, and from a researcher’s point of view I have to say the results were deeply disconcerting. Yes, the site offers up a number of hard-to-find works from the early 20th century with instant access to the text. And yes, for some books it offers a useful keyword search function for finding a reference that might not be in the index. But my experience suggests the project is falling far short of its central promise of exposing the literature of the world, and is instead piling mistake upon mistake with little evidence of basic quality control. The problems I encountered fit into three broad categories—the quality of the scans is decidedly mixed, the information about the books (the “metadata” in info-speak) is often erroneous, and the public domain is curiously restricted.
Be sure to read through all the very worthwhile comments following the blog entry.

1 comment:

Mohamed Taher said...

Hi Betsy:
I am trying to compile a balanced webliography of this Google-academia and digitization spree.
See my post for a punchline and Webliography at
Stay connected and correspond mt2222 @ yahoo dot com