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Does Google Books Work?

books_logo23.gifAs authors’ deadline to opt-out of the Google Books settlement arrives tomorrow, publishing types around the world have been reassessing the program. Everybody from William Morris to Amazon have questioned Google’s efforts to archive millions of titles online.

Today, The Chronicle Review joined the fray, spotting meta-data flaws in Google Books that may hamper searches. This GalleyCat editor has used the database to research a few articles, and actually enjoyed using the search. Have you used Google Books for research? Include your thoughts in the comments for a future feature…

Read more in the article: “A search on books published before 1920 mentioning “candy bar” turns up 66 hits, of which 46-70 percent are misdated. I don’t think that’s representative of the overall proportion of metadata errors, though they are much more common in older works than for the recent titles Google received directly from publishers. But even if the proportion of misdatings is only 5 percent, the corpus is riddled with hundreds of thousands of erroneous publication dates.” (Via Publishers Weekly)

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