Digitize This Book

digitize

Digitize This Book by Gary Hall is about “the politics of new media, or why we need open access now.”

He opens his text with a plea that “another university is possible.” He wants a turn to an “academic gift economy” one in which the university openly, and freely, releases its research for public consumption.

He agrues that the proposed Google Booksearch program may not help this goal in that for a book to be scanned for Google’s project, it first has to be published as a standard book.

Mr. Hall is the co-founder of the Culturall Studies e-Archive, or CSeARCH which offers digitial knowledge content to those who can access the Internet, for free.

Several chapters of his book are devoted to “metadata” – that is, data about data. An example of metadata would be when your iPod is playing a song and displays the name of the song, band, and album, that’s the metadata for the actual song file. The metadata for the book is a mixture of words and people to “google” (research), further readings, a link to the Culture Machine CSeARCH, and a bit of background about the book itself.

I think Mr. Hall’s ideas about open access are admirable, if more people have access to more information, then more information can be researched and created. But, for this to work, people first have to donate knowledge to the “culture machine” and for that to happen, people have to find out about the culture machine. It’s a catch-22.

One of the things I’ve often disliked about research is often coming across a journal entry and being barred from reading it because I don’t have a subscription to that journal or am unable to pay the fees they institute for each article.

Culture Machine CSeARCH
Official Website for the book.

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