Thursday, 1 October 2009

Engaging With the Issues Raised By The Google Book Settlement

Like it or not, Google Book Search and the Google Book settlement are going to bring full text search to the world of published books... Web based search tools that let you search through books are not not going to happen.

Yes there may be problems with the meta-data (e.g. Google Books, The Metadata Mess) but there are use cases and there are use cases.

(I'd have thought Google was scanning the books in toto, though, which means they should also be scanning the bibliographic data..? (And which in turn means there should be a short term, stop gap fix for getting round elements of the data mess by using a few well crafted search query patterns?))

Just because Google Book Search may not (currently) be appropriate for certain forms of research doesn't mean that it's not useful in other ways, and doesn't mean that spi-off technologies, such as the ability to embed a preview of a book in a third party webpage, find books related by similarity of content (if not classification), or share reviews aren't useful... (Bear in mind too that most of those services can also be accessed via an API.)

Although the Google Book Settlement has been taken back under advisement, it's still worth considering some of the issues raised, and maybe even getting involved in the debate.

EduServ's Andy Powell has produced a quick guide to the settlement (The Google Book Settlement) which provides a great summary if you need bringing up to speed...

Andy also refers in his supporting blogpost to a set of consultation questions posted by JISC surrounding the summer 2009 version of the settlement that have been published on WriteToReply: JISC seeks your views on the US Google Book Settlement

For example, the questions they're asking include:

View comments on this question

View comments on this question

View comments on this question

It's well worth contributing to that debate becuase it's an issue that is not going away...

(Note that the above questions have been embedded on this page from the original consultation document using an embed code similar to that used to embed the slideshare presentations.)

Disclaimer: I am a director of Public Platforms Ltd, the publisher of the WriteToReply consultation platform.

No comments: