[Web4lib] Google Allows Downloads of out-of-copyright Books
campbell at virginia.edu
Thu Nov 2 12:07:02 EST 2006
They may be tinkering with searching, but there's something else going on as
Figuring that an author search ought to be more straightforward than a
keyword search, I did a couple of author searches I've done before. I
limited my search to Full view to test a suspicion that Google was removing
full view titles because of fear of offending publishers, and sure enough,
several things I had downloaded a month ago were now no longer available.
But that nice theory quickly ended when I repeated my author searches for
all books, no limit to full view. Authors who a month ago produced 2-3
pages of results now produced only 5-10 entries total. And I don't think
that having pulled completely all the full view titles would be enough to
explain that difference. And I don't understand why they would pull them
completely and not just limit the view options.
There is also one work that Stanford has in two copies. A month ago both
copies were in Google, now there's only one.
Oh, and there was also one full view title there that hadn't been there a
month ago. I downloaded it immediately.
- Jim Campbell
Campbell at Virginia.edu
And a PS:
After I wrote all that, I thought of another test. I had been searching for
"inauthor:klinger inauthor:friedrich" so I went back and searched just for
"inauthor:klinger" None of the results I got for "inauthor:klinger
inauthor:friedrich" showed up in the search just for the last name.
So maybe it is a searching screwup.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org
> [mailto:web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org] On Behalf Of Jonathan Gorman
> Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:04 AM
> Cc: web4lib at webjunction.org
> Subject: RE: [Web4lib] Google Allows Downloads of
> out-of-copyright Books
> Some quick testing seems to show that some searches I've been
> doing return less results, but if I add words to my search I
> get items that didn't appear before. Perhaps they're testing
> out some new algorithms and trying to restrict the number
> returned to a smaller set, but cutting out some of the
> titles. How odd.
> Of course, I don't remember the "Full view books" radio
> button being there either.
> Sample search: ale
> I remember trying to find a copy of the book "Curiosities of
> Beer and Ales" a while ago and trying several different
> searches. When searching just Ale, I found the related book
> "In Praise of Ale" in the first page or two. Now doing just
> the search Ale in either "All Books" or "Full view books"
> doesn't bring that book in the results.
> Doing the search: praise ale
> seems to bring it up as the top hit.
> How very unGoogle like. Curious. Perhaps they've been
> trying to return the precision of the results so that there
> aren't so many hits? Some performance tweaking? Or have the
> algorithms stayed the same but they added more books, causing
> results to be skewed? Ah well, I'll let someone else figure
> this out ;).
> Jonathan T. Gorman
> Research Information Specialist
> University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
> 216 Main Library - MC522
> 1408 West Gregory Drive
> Urbana, IL 61801
> Phone: (217) 244-4688
> On Thu, 2 Nov 2006, Crocker, Daniel wrote:
> > I've been a bit out of the loop, but has anyone else noticed a
> > dramatic loss of access to these texts? I'd been so pleased to
> > announce to people that a good portion of our fragile special
> > collections material could be read online, and today see no
> sign of the books in Google Book search.
> > Searches at books.google.com that once found several dozen
> texts now
> > find only a handful, even prior to limiting to full-view books. Our
> > list of 17 texts duplicated in our paper collection has
> been reduced
> > to just 1.
> > I've sent Google essentially the same question, and will
> summarize any
> > reply I get - but have any of you any information about what's
> > happened to this service?
> > Much obliged,
> > Daniel Crocker
> > Electronic Resources Librarian
> > New England College of Optometry - Library
> > 424 Beacon St.
> > Boston, MA 02115
> > crockerd at neco.edu
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