Friday, November 03, 2006 at 9:40 AM
We get lots of positive feedback about the potential for Google Book Search to affect research, but the word “research” might call to mind long hours of intensive reading for academic study. Google Book Search assists scholars, but it also helps us “everyday" researchers dig a bit deeper.
Let's say you've just read an article in The Boston Globe. The Globe’s job is to keep you updated on current events, but what about context? Well-written pieces usually include background information -- but in most cases, it's just enough to introduce the topic at hand. This isn’t to say that newspaper articles aren't useful -- they just don’t have the space to stretch out and fully explain themselves. Books excel at this! And Google Book Search is great way to find relevant books.
Imagine you’ve read that legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach just passed away. Do a quick search for “Red Auerbach,” and you’ll find his autobiography, which should be an excellent complement to articles you can read from other sources. Or maybe you’ve read about the recent political unrest in Fiji. Why not search for “Fiji history” and read a historical analysis of the country? You can even read up on military chief Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama from a variety of sources.
This is just a simple way to apply the power that having a database of fully searchable books gives you. Given that we’re always adding more books to our database (and as our recent posts to this blog demonstrate, in more and more languages), your "everyday" research results will become more and more comprehensive, whether you're investigating 17th-century philosophy or just curious about the common cold.