The wisdom of the scholarly crowd for Google books
August 24th, 2010

A scathing article today in The Chronicle of Higher Education proclaims: Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars. The article contains barely a glimmer of hope for what Google books will become after they have been massaged for some months and years by the scholarly mob. The errors in metadata about which the article howls will surely be vetted by users over time as the laws of networks apply the wisdom of the crowd. The pressure of that crowd is already pushing Google to corrective action, as the article mentions.

As the title of Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus, suggests, cleaning up Google’s books would will be a place where the overflow mob of smarts will do some useful work.

UPDATE: Thanks, Edwin, for the heads-up in your comment. You are right about the 2009 date. I did not notice that the article I blogged about was from the “Archives” when I looked at this email from the Chronicle this morning:

I stand by my opinion about the vetting that will occur. Judy

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