Monday, July 04, 2005

Google Print Indexing vs. Copying and the Future of Scholarly Books

Shore Communications Inc.: Commentary - Weblogs - Shore News Commentary: "Google Print: Indexing vs. Copying and the Future of Scholarly Books
Finding authoritative information sources has always been a major challenge for searchers and researchers. The commercial search services were born over 30 years ago to answer this need, and while the technology has steadily improved, obstacles to finding those sources still remain. In a thoughtful post to the liblist-l at Yale University, Chuck Hamaker, a librarian at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, expresses his concern that book content is not as visible to students and scholars as articles, primarily because journal articles are indexed widely, have the context of snippits and are available full text in electronic format through some service. By contrast, books remain stuck in print silos, with the exception of some emerging book databases such as ebrary and safari. As Hamaker observes, 'Massive indexing of monographs which is what I see Google Print actually doing, is critical for survival--the survival as usable text, of the book, to keep it from becoming nothing more than an interesting artifact of civilization.'"