Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars

Geoffrey Nunberg discusses Google Books in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Apparently, Google Books suffers from some pretty shoddy metadata, leading to some humorous juxtapositions and labels. Nunberg’s diagnosis:

It’s clear that Google designed the system without giving much thought to the need for reliable metadata. In fact, Google’s great achievement as a Web search engine was to demonstrate how easy it could be to locate useful information without attending to metadata or resorting to Yahoo-like schemes of classification. But books aren’t simply vehicles for communicating information, and managing a vast library collection requires different skills, approaches, and data than those that enabled Google to dominate Web searching.