Two years ago, Google Books was becoming the world’s largest digital library and, with an effective monopoly, seemed “almost certain to be the last one”.
The tragedy for scholars was that Google Books’ metadata - which allow users to search the catalogue - were “a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess”.
Such was the argument made in 2009 by Geoffrey Nunberg, adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley.
In response to Professor Nunberg’s critique, Google offered to correct any errors that were brought to its attention. But while this process has ironed out specific glitches in the intervening years, Professor Nunberg does not believe it has made a fundamental difference.
I come across this stuff all the time. It’s particularly frustrating because the information is out there and available, but the mislabeling may mean that the information isn’t found by those looking for it.
And don’t even get me started about the government publications that are only offered in snippet view. Um, that stuff is not under copyright, JUST GIVE IT TO ME.