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Friday, 23rd May 2008

Microsoft Ends Book Search and Live Academic Search; Where Else to Turn

UPDATE: Brewster Kahle Comments on the End of Microsoft's Book Digitization Program

As Danny Sullivan writes on Search Engine Land, so much for an alternative to Google's products in the academic and scholarly arenas. Very sad. Of course, one has to wonder how many searchers knew about and used Microsoft's offerings in this area. Our guess, not that many. Again, a sad moment. Building it doesn't mean they will come and use it. Databases are not a field of dreams.

Of course, many other full text online book search guides and databases exist. Just because Microsoft is leaving doesn't mean that there aren't other places to turn.

In this post, we list several of them.

In terms of "scholarly articles" as found in Live Academic Search or Google Scholar, many libraries in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and elsewhere provide FREE full text access to databases containing this type of material. Access is available remotely, in other words, access from any web computer. No need to visit the library. All you need is a library card (also free) from that specific library. Here's an example of the many FREE databases (again, all you need is a library card) from the:

+ San Francisco Public Library

+ Chicago Public Library

+ Library of Virginia

+ Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library (Canada)

and thousands more. Contact your local library and see what you have access to. Of course, those with access to an academic library (let's say, University of California-Irvine) have the ability to use (remotely, 24x7x365) even more databases.

Finally, more and more public and academic libraries now offer free downloadable access to audiobooks and movies. Again, all you need is a library card.

Check out (no pun intended) and gain access to thousands (if not more) articles, books, recordings, and more from the comfort and privacy of your home or any web computer.

See Also: Libdex
Take a look at what you can access with your library card. Here's a great database to find contact info and web pages for thousands of libraries around the world.


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