“Peter Kraker on Google Dataset Discovery, the open science movement, and his #DontLeaveItToGoogle campaign. […]
Where do you see the problem in search engine for data run by Google?
I fear that Dataset Search will go the way of Google Scholar. When Google Scholar came about 15 years ago, it was a ground-breaking literature search engine. The scientific literature, however, has doubled in the meantime, and Google has not made enough investment to keep up with this growth. As a result, Google Scholar is of very limited use today and does a bad job at helping researchers to find relevant papers for their information needs. Now, this lack of innovation would not be a problem, if other tools could build on top of Google Scholar. But unfortunately they can’t, because the Google Scholar index is not reusable. Innovators in this market have to first build their own index, which is not helped by the fact that Google has many special arrangements with content providers that the rest of the world does not have.
And we are all poorer for it – discovery is in many ways the departure point of research, and the results of this step decide whether research is reused or duplicated, whether new collaborations are formed or these opportunities are missed. Discovery is therefore important for efficiency, effectiveness and quality of research. Now I do fear that the same could happen for datasets, if we do not put an open alternative out there.”