The Google 6?

Lorcan 1 min read

The University of California is in discussion with Google about participating in the Google Book Search initiative. From the LA Times:

Google is keen to have access to UC’s 34 million volumes from 100 libraries on 10 campuses, which is described as collectively the largest academic research library in the world. UC wants to delve more deeply into the Internet revolution with a deep-pockets partner like Google paying the costs of scanning books. [ UC May Join Google’s Library Project]

This is an interesting development given UC’s participation in OCA.
It would be interesting to know whether Google feel that UC can make a particular contribution over the existing partners (something that we might be interested in testing) or whether it just makes sense given their existing activities and intended directions.
We explored the pattern of holdings in the ‘aggregate’ Google 5 collection last year. A part of the analysis was to see what unique contribution additional collections would make to the aggregate. We compared the holdings of a group of additional libraries of various types, and then as described here adjusted for size of collection.

These results are partly a consequence of the disparity in collection sizes, as reflected in WorldCat holdings: the large American private university had the most holdings of the five, and the small American liberal arts college the second least. A rough way to adjust for collection size is to compute the ratio of unique books added to the Google 5 collection as a percent of the institution’s total holdings. From this perspective, the large American metropolitan public library exhibited the highest degree of uniqueness relative to the Google 5 collection: 39 percent of its holdings were unique relative to the combined Google 5 holdings. The large American private university was next at 25 percent, followed by the large Canadian university (23 percent), the large American public university (21 percent), and the small American liberal arts college (13 percent). [Anatomy of Aggregate Collections: The Example of Google Print for Libraries]

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