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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Thursday, February 19, 2004
Over-reliance on Google = sloppy reporting  
"If you type 'Zantrex' into Google," he writes, "more than a hundred thousand citations will appear." Though he preceded the sentence with evidence and statistics of the drug's increased use, Specter seemed worried that in this dot-com age, Internet-savvy readers would be left unconvinced without hard search-engine evidence. Scientific studies as proof? Eh. Web searches? Now you've convinced me.

A story from Media Bistro points out that journalists have become lazy by using Google as a means of gauging a subject's popularity or importance, or appealing to Google as a kind of higher authority.

Very true, I remember reading articles that "proved" that Jonah Lomu was far more popular and important and respected than Colin Meads (both are famous New Zealand rugby players). The reason? Google produces far more hits for Lomu than for Meads. Of course, the fact that Meads retired in the 1960s and therefore isn't quite as likely to turn up on the internet as Lomu, who's still playing, wasn't mentioned.

Seen on LIS News an article from


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