Academic publishing is archaic


Academic publishing is archaic

What I find fascinating is the historical perspective: while still useful, the alphabetical index is hardly exciting anymore. It has been supplanted by full text search (in e-books). There are still reference books (such as dictionaries), but they are being replaced with online tools. Information overload continues to generate many inventions: the search engine (such as Google), the recommender system (as on, and the social networks (such as Twitter). Literally, these tools expand our minds. We become smarter.


An "information scientist" who believes metadata is archaic? Go figure?

I don't think we are expanding our minds nor are we getting smarter. I think the tools mentioned and emerging Library technologies are helping us to find and manage information much better than we have in the past. I also feel that libraries and especially librarians will be an essential part of the emerging search and information management system. Who knows? maybe in 10 years we'll all be connecting to a Library instead of the Internet when we need information.

Think about it, right now I hear Librarians talking about search and retrieval. After you retrieve enough, you'll need to start managing it. That's when I think Libraries will REALLY become important to business, academics, and maybe just to everyday life.

The invention of the Internet has created a multitude of information repositories. Today, finding information is still mainly a hap-hazard hunt and peck search. Companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, create search engines that will make money, there's no management involved, it's just 50,000 hits chose the right ones. It will take an effort from Library Science to create not a "search engine" but a search and management system to effectively provide access to the world's information in a reliable and comprehensive manner.

Ken Harbit
Joyner Library
East Carolina University

Don't get me wrong, these tools are very useful. But there is zero evidence that they are making us smarter.

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