Brain Food– Are You Eating Healthy?

This post was written by Darcy Katzman on February 23, 2011
Posted Under: Federated Search,Marketing Announcements,The Deep Web

Our minds like to be fed with the best information possible! In the case of researchers (academic, medical, business, or others), their works depend on it.  Here is a great blog post by Sol Lederman I would like to share. It’s on the topic of information quality vs. information coverage. It really illustrates the importance of search tools. I think use of “quantity” is important to note here. Quantity of information is not typically a bad thing– unless it’s a large amount of irrelevant results. If you would like to eat some brain food, Deep Web Tech is serving up a hot plate of your favorite info! Here are some sites you can feast on for a lifetime; bon appetit! Business, Medical, Science, and World Wide Science.

Sol Lederman wrote:

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.

Reader Comments

To take the junk food analogy a bit further, I am quite bothered by unwanted additives in my diet, and in the case of information products one of most troublesome additives is DRM (digital rights management), which often makes it difficult to make full use of a paid-for document by copying from it, annotating, printing, or reading it on different devices on in offline mode.

Written By Gregor Erbach on February 24th, 2011 @ 11:48 am

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