Our business partners aren’t always nice

Marshall Breeding’s article from the Jan/Feb 2014 American Libraries, “Web-Scale Discovery Services,” has a number of great points, but one stood out to me: Libraries work with a number of companies that believe, while providing information access is all well and good, it’s distinctly secondary to the bottom line.

Many of our articles discuss how we can best share information across platforms and schemas, but some of our business partners see “one-stop discovery service” and read “competitor’s attempt to reduce use of our search products.”  This is compounded when the company that makes the search service is also a company that provides electronic databases with proprietary information.  Maybe EBSCO and ProQuest just don’t want to share data with each other.  And even if they did, maybe the result rankings would just, oh, favor their own stuff a little.

And let’s not discuss e-books and business competition.

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Our business partners aren’t always nice

3 thoughts on “Our business partners aren’t always nice

  1. Christy says:

    Although our goal as librarian is access to information, companies like ProQuest and EBSCO are in the information game for a profit. Unfortunately, I would agree that any combining of those companies products might create biased search results. Especially if their contract terms charged for each item accessed from search retrieval results.

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  2. The sentence you have about if information is shared then one would want theirs above the others reminds me of Google being sued in England (I believe) for having their information given top billing. I think we talked about this in this class.

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