- Aug 2016
Borgman on the importance of scale in information retrieval. It's an interesting question for the humanities not only does large-scale introduce new methods for example just reading it also makes traditional methods more difficult EG challenges close reading. It is not enough to say (as color and others do) that they don't like distant reading. They also need to say how they propose doing the reading in a million book environment.
data and information have always been both input and output of research. What is new is the scale of the data and information involved. Information management is notoriously subject to problems of scale [bibliography removed]. Retrieval methods designed for small databases declined rapidly ineffectiveness as collections grow in size. For example a typical searcher is willing to browse a set of matches consisting of one percent of a database of 1000 documents (10 documents), maybe willing to browse a 1% set of 10,000 documents (100), rarely is willing to browse 1% of 100,000 documents (1000), and almost never would browse 1% of 1 million or 10 million documents.
Borgman on the responsibility of rears to assess reliability and the ability of content creators to have control over their work:
these are exciting and confusing times for scholarship. The proliferation of digital content allows new questions to be asked in new ways, but also results unduplication and dispersion. Authors can disseminate their work more widely by posting online, but readers have the additional responsibility of assessing trust and authenticity. Changes in intellectual property laws give Pharmacontrol to the creators of digital content that was available for printed comment, but the resulting business models often constrain access to scholarly resources. Students acquire an insatiable appetite for digital publications, and then find an graduation that they can barely sample them without institutional affiliations.
Borgman on scholars access to information in the developed world
Scholars in the developed world have 24/7 access to the literature of their fields, a growing amount of research data, and sophisticated research tools and services.