Beyond “infobesity” | Federated Search BlogFederated Search

I recently discovered an article, 5 Reasons Not to Use Google First, that sings my song. The article addresses this question:

Google is fast, clean and returns more results than any other search engine, but does it really find the information students need for quality academic research? The answer is often ‘no’. “While simply typing words into Google will work for many tasks, academic research demands more.” (Searching for and finding new information – tools, strategies and techniques)

The next paragraph gave me a chuckle.

As far back as 2004, James Morris, Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, coined the term “infobesity,” to describe “the outcome of Google-izing research: a junk-information diet, consisting of overwhelming amounts of low-quality material that is hard to digest and leads to research papers of equally low quality.” (Is Google enough? Comparison of an internet search engine with academic library resources.)

The article continues with its list of five good reasons to not use Google first.

Note that the recommendation isn’t to skip Google altogether. There’s a balance that’s needed to get the best value when performing research. The findings in the “Is Google enough?” article summarizes this point really well:

Google is superior for coverage and accessibility. Library systems are superior for quality of results. Precision is similar for both systems. Good coverage requires use of both, as both have many unique items. Improving the skills of the searcher is likely to give better results from the library systems, but not from Google.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 9:04 am and is filed under Uncategorized, viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

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