Monday, June 12, 2006

The demise of internet search engines?

A post in eWeek suggests the demise of the free search engine.

Peter Coffee: At some point, therefore, the short, happy life of the free search engine that's actually useful to a professional researcher seems certain to come to an end. In the same way that academics and other professionals rely on peer-reviewed journals, not on tabloid newspapers, the enterprise professional will rediscover the value of the informed meta-source who maintains a good Rolodex of top-tier primary sources in any given field of interest.

Of reliance on peer-reviewed journals, Mr. Coffee might do well to contemplate the publication of fraudulent results in Science by Hwang Woo-Suk in 2004 and in 2005, or the shafting of Benjamin Franklin by the Royal Society in 1750. Peer-review gives the searcher a different kind of filtering, not necessarily an accurate filtering.

As to Google, the ever-changing pastiche of "what one gets" from the same search at different times makes any comparison to review of organized, compiled journals problematic.


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