Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Research is not about finding everything but

“Excuse me, but research isn’t about finding everything. That’s not really how it works at all … this idea of a single search that brings back every relevant item is not like the process of research as it is actually practiced. Research involves finding a few, or even one, good thing, then checking what that one thing references, and checking those sources … then branching out rapidly from there. Literature is not made up of a colection of items connected by having common keywords … a literature is composed of a collection of items connected by common ideas and a community of thinkers who are influenced by each other’s works. It’s about following the network of citations, really.”

Crowd : (nodding)

Me: (now all excited) ”So, what search should do is get your foot in the door, not hand you “everything” … Google works because it gets you some stuff, not everything..."

The above is from a post entitled Search and Research from Doug's Mind. I think his epiphany is worth expanding upon.

What if libraries tried to create a something that brought you some of the best starting points to research?

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