Kim H. Veltman, Keynote: “Digital Libraries and Search Engines: A Progress Report,”11th International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics & 16th COLLNET Meeting, Delhi, India, 26-28 November, 2015.
At the beginning of the 20th century there was a vision of a global brain. Today there is a vision of a global digital library. The book is becoming the e-book. Born digital is competing with and threatening to replace born physical. There are a series of international projects, some of which will be mentioned. On the surface, there are incredible achievements. The Karlsruher Virtual Katalog now entails 500 million titles. WorldCat offers access to 2 billion items. The Internet Archive claims to have scanned 465 billion pages. Google has scanned the full text of 30 million books and claims to search 30 trillion pages 100 billion times per month.
This essay focusses on seven areas which remain challenges: links, sources, reference, bibliography, secondary literature, levels of knowledge, everyday information vs. enduring knowledge (cf. commercial and scholarly goals). Under the guise of personalisation, the quest to commodify knowledge and searching is leading to targeted searches concerning individual facts, items, and products. Contextual knowledge concerning contexts and history is being sidelined. Under the guise of searchology, the ranking techniques of search engines are implicitly ignoring the traditions of indexing and subject cataloguing. The aims of selling us familiar things are far removed from the goal of learning unfamiliar, new things. We need both. An internet of everyday information is good. A web of enduring knowledge is priceless.
2. Digital Library Projects
7. Secondary Literature
8. Levels of Knowledge
9. Everyday Information and Enduring Knowledge
Appendix 1. Issues with Current Projects