Couple of articles today (in The Guardian and The Bookseller) discussed how students and researchers are settling for mediocrity from commercial search engines that offer user friendly interfaces and convenience over quality and depth. Fewer of us seem to be exploiting the many benefits of academic search engines such as Archives Hub, Edina, Intute and Copac.
It’s a shame really because these resources provide unparalleled access to the best in academic research. Unfortunately they fail at the point of entry for many of today’s users who expect to retrieve exactly what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds, not minutes. They’ve been brought up on a diet of Google, Amazon and ChaCha and demand a fully interactive service that is intuitive and sensitive to their needs.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that…and if the academic search engines can successfully emulate the positive aspects of commercial models then everyone’s a winner!