Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Automated abstracts to compete with Wikipedia

Sage eReference is worried about competition from Wikipedia.  In response, it's asking Google to produce 100-word abstracts for the SeR articles.  For details, see Mark Chillingworth's story in the May 8 Information World Review.

Comment.  I assume that Google will use text-summarizing software to produce the abstracts.  If so, the important news here is that Google is starting to apply these tools to scholarly content --a welcome development, especially if competitors drive up the quality for users.  But I don't get it:  how will this help SeR compete with Wikipedia?  The abstracts won't improve the quality of SeR's articles or make their existing quality more evident.  Moreover, SeR is is not OA.  People who turn to Wikipedia don't always want to edit but they do always want OA.