Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Friday, October 24, 2003
(reading) Amazon debuts full-text searching  
Seen on The Resource Shelf (and a few other places besides). Amazon has a new search function that lets users search the full text of over 120, 000 titles.

Gary mentions that "Searching for phrases can be imprecise. I ran a search for "sports broadcaster" and received many false drops." and no advanced search features are possible. Still, this seems like a potentially good idea. Once again, a commercial operator is way ahead of the services libraries are offering. What would we give for a catalogue that works like amazon's site does?

[edit] Testing the search with a few incredibly well known phrases ("it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" and "Call me Ishmael") produced some odd results - plenty of references to Dickens' and Melville's novels, but not the novels themselves (Cliff's Notes, Maya Angelou citing A Tale of Two Cities, but not the work itself.) Which suggests that this project only goes back so far, and classic (but out of copyright) works just aren't represented.


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