(Quality) Information is not free

Some recent articles contradict the common belief that all information is now available free on the Internet, and the mantra that “information wants to be free.”

Here is a study that shows how easy it is to “publish” inaccurate scientific research in open-source scientific journals.

And, this article details the “decline of Wikipedia.”  This is especially dangerous since Wikipedia articles appear first in most Google searches.

This comes as companies such as The Washington Post and The New York Times increasingly charge users to access their content with paywalls.

What is the answer?  Librarians need to do more to promote the “invisible internet.”  That is, subscription databases such as ProQuest that just about any public library and every college library subscribes to.  Unfortunately, using these resources is not as easy as Googling it, and users want quick answers in this Twitter age.  But, perhaps it is time to be more intentional and thoughtful in our research, as the President of the University of Florida urged in his recent commencement speech.


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