Are Google & Web Scale Discovery services — Low skill cap, Low performance cap tools?

Where I speculate about how the concepts of skill caps and performance caps and the views that librarians implictly hold on them in these two dimensions, affect how they engage with them.

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The relatively straight forward to play and low skill cap — Token druid deck
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The Skill testing and high skill cap — Conjuring Mage deck

Applying skill caps and performance caps to search tools

So what this have to do with Web Scale Discovery services (e.g. Summon), Google or library databases?

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How I see our search tools

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How I see things

Web Scale Library Discovery is wonderful!

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Web Scale Discovery is wonderful

Web Scale Discovery tools are rubbish!

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Web Scale discovery is rubbish

Web Scale Discovery tools have the potential to be very good if you just know how/more

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Library Discovery tools can be powerful, you just need to learn more about it
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Some Primo relevancy weights

Can we measure this?

While I argued using logic why Boolean was no longer has effective in this day of full text search (as opposed to purely title+abstract days, someone actually did a study that compared simple boolean with natural language search in a variety of databases such as JSTOR, Google Scholar, Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, Lexis Nexis, Academic Search premier and showed that there was no difference in search relevancy results!

Difference in relevancy for top 25 results for Boolean vs Natural Language

Conclusion

I have a suspicion, many librarians just do not like the idea of a low skill cap tool in principle, because how are we going to show value of our hard earned professional skill? If it took only a little time or effort for the base searcher to learn to perform as well as anyone what need do we have to exist?

A Librarian from Singapore Management University. Into social media, bibliometrics, library technology and above all libraries.

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