The Evolving Google Library

Google is underway in its enormous book digitization project, collaborating with university libraries in what is said to be the “ultimate combination of technology and scholarship.” It will make millions of volumes and journals available to audiences that would otherwise be unable to visit these major research libraries in person. To some, the project represents a “dangerous centralization and corporatization of content.”

Complicating the debate has been uncertainty about how Google would make the new library available. Google is pledging free “preview” access to all books in the collection, inexpensive ways for individuals to purchase digital access to a full book, and pricing that would make it possible for colleges to buy site licenses to the collections.

Google also plans to use an arbitration system, assuring colleges that it will not overcharge for access. Some of the terms described by Google appear designed to win over skeptics in the library and publishing world, but some observers said it was too early to tell if the company had gone far enough, especially since it hasn’t released some pricing details.

via Higher Ed

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