Today has been a surreal graduate student experience about metadata, classification and cataloging… basically how we find information or enable information to be found so we can use it. (Isn’t that just another way to define communication?)
It all started with a Melissa Gross-style imposed query by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Brown, who literally “set us up” to use databases like ProQuest’s ABI/INFORM, OCLC FirstSearch’s ArticleFirst, and EBSCO Host’s Academic Search Elite to find an obscure article from an unnamed source with little “real” information to go on. Of course, the exercise was engineered for us to learn ways to use search terms and limiters and stop words and the like to assist in a search for information. (Did you pick up on those stop words?)
Well, a half hour and a lot of frustration later, I employed my competitive intelligence skills and did a little googling to find the answer. I think many of the legitimate searchers in our class are still searching, and in order to successfully finish my assignment, I’m using the answer to go back and recreate a “legitimate” search.
Is this the way it’s supposed to be?
Does information have to be so properly indexed and classified? Why is “googling” at the academic level a bad thing? Is it the means or the end?
Too many unanswered questions! So I turned to Doc Martens’ focus on “established classification” for a break from the imposed query experience, only to read Cory Doctorow’s article on