Ist Google gut für die Geschichtswissenschaft?

Der Historiker Dan Cohen argumentiert, ohne an Kritik zu sparen, die positiven Auswirkungen von Google auf die Geschichtswissenschaft. Ich denke, dass die meisten Wissenschaften, wenn nicht offen, dann insgeheim, in Google ein nützliches und unabdingbares Werkzeug ihres Fortschritts sehen.

Partly out of fear and partly out of envy, it’s easy to take shots at Google. While it seems that an obsessive book about Google comes out every other week, where are the volumes of criticism of ProQuest or Elsevier or other large information companies that serve the academic market in troubling ways? These companies, which also provide search services and digital scans, charge universities exorbitant amounts for the privilege of access. They leech money out of library budgets every year that could be going to other, more productive uses.

Google, on the other hand, has given us Google Scholar, Google Books, newspaper archives, and more, often besting commercial offerings while being freely accessible. In this bigger picture, away from the myopic obsession with the Biggest Tech Company of the Moment (remember similar diatribes against IBM, Microsoft?), Google has been very good for history and historians, and one can only hope that they continue to exert pressure on those who provide costly alternatives.