Google Books screenshot
|Operating system||Any (web-based application)|
|Type||Online book search|
Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google Inc. that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. Books are provided either by publishers and authors, through the Google Books Partner Program, or by Google's library partners, through the Library Project.
The service was formerly known as 'Google Print' when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2004. The Google Books Library Project, which scans works in the collections library partners and adds them to the digital inventory, was announced in December 2004.
- 1 Details
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Google Books Partner Program
- 4 Google Books Library Project
- 5 My Library
- 6 Copyright infringement, fair use and related issues
- 7 Language issues
- 8 Google Books versus Google Scholar
- 9 Similar projects
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Results from Google Books show up in both the mainstream Google Search as well as in the dedicated Google Books search website (books.google.com). Up to three results from the Google Books index may be displayed, if relevant, above other search results in Google Web Search.
A click on a result from Google Books opens an interface in which the user may view pages from the book, if out of copyright or if the copyright owner has given permission. Books in the public domain are available for "full view" and are free for download. For in-print books where permission has been granted, the number of viewable pages is limited to a "preview" set by a variety of access restrictions and security measures, some based on user-tracking. For books where permission for a limited preview has been refused, only "snippets" – two to three lines of text surrounding the queried search term is displayed, but the full text of the book is still searchable. The snippet view may also be provided when the owner of a book cannot be identified.
In order to make Google Books a more comprehensive discovery tool, Google also displays results for books that have not been digitized. As these books have not been scanned, their text is not searchable. For these books, only the bibliographic information such as title, author, subject and copyright information, and in some cases, tables of contents and/or a book summary is available. In effect, this is like a library card catalog online. For this reason, Google Books searches are an unreliable indicator of the prevalence of specific usages or terms, because many authoritative works may fall into the unscanned category. In addition, even for available pages, a Google Book search for a specifically worded piece of text can fail to turn up the relevant sources, particularly if that text appears in a footnote, a figure caption, a boxed insert, or inside some quotation from a consulted source.
Each book on Google Books has an associated "About this book" page which displays useful information regarding the book such as key terms and phrases from the book, selected pages from the book, list of related books, and other books or scholarly articles that cite the book. This information is collated through automated methods, and sometimes data from third-party sources is used. This information provides an insight into the book, particularly when only a snippet view is available. The page also displays bibliographic information, a book summary and tables of content. Registered users logged in with their Google accounts can post reviews for books on this page. Google Books also displays reviews from other websites such as Goodreads alongside these reviews.
Most scanned works are no longer in print or commercially available. For those which are, the site provides links to the website of the publisher and booksellers.
Many of the books are scanned using the Elphel 323 camera at a rate of 1,000 pages per hour. The scanning process is subject to errors. For example, some pages are unreadable, or upside down, or in the wrong order. Book information such as authors, publishers, dates and so on, may be incorrect or abbreviated incoherently.
The Google Books initiative has been hailed for its potential to offer unprecedented access to what may become the largest online body of human knowledge[dead link] and promoting the democratization of knowledge. But it has also been criticized for potential copyright violations, and lack of editing to correct the thousands of errors introduced into the scanned texts by the OCR process.
As of April 2013, the number of scanned books was over 30 million, but the scanning process has slowed down in USA academic libraries. Google estimated in 2010 that there were about 130 million unique books in the world, and stated that it intended to scan all of them by the end of the decade.
December 2004 Google signaled an extension to its Google Print initiative known as the Google Print Library Project. Google announced partnerships with several high-profile university and public libraries, including the University of Michigan, Harvard (Harvard University Library), Stanford (Green Library), Oxford (Bodleian Library), and the New York Public Library. According to press releases and university librarians, Google plans to digitize and make available through its Google Books service approximately 15 million volumes within a decade. The announcement soon triggered controversy, as publisher and author associations challenged Google's plans to digitize, not just books in the public domain, but also titles still under copyright.
September–October 2005 Two lawsuits against Google charge that the company has not respected copyrights and has failed to properly compensate authors and publishers. One is a class action suit on behalf of authors (Authors Guild v. Google, Sept. 20 2005) and the other is a civil lawsuit brought by five large publishers and the Association of American Publishers. (McGraw Hill v. Google, Oct. 19 2005)
November 2005: Google changed the name of this service from Google Print to Google Book Search. Its program enabling publishers and authors to include their books in the service was renamed "Google Books Partner Program" and the partnership with libraries became Google Books Library Project.
August 2006: The University of California System announced that it would join the Books digitization project. This includes a portion of the 34 million volumes within the approximately 100 libraries managed by the System.
October 2006: The University of Wisconsin–Madison announced that it would join the Book Search digitization project along with the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. Combined, the libraries have 7.2 million holdings.
January 2007: The University of Texas at Austin announced that it would join the Book Search digitization project. At least one million volumes will be digitized from the University's 13 library locations.
March 2007: The Bavarian State Library announced a partnership with Google to scan more than a million public domain and out-of-print works in German as well as English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.
May 2007: The Boekentoren Library of Ghent University will participate with Google in digitizing and making digitized versions of 19th century books in the French and Dutch languages available online.
August 2007: Google announced that it would digitize up to 500,000 both copyrighted and public domain items from Cornell University Library. Google will also provide a digital copy of all works scanned to be incorporated into the university's own library system.
September 2007: Google added a feature that allows users to share snippets of books that are in the public domain. The snippets may appear exactly as they do in the scan of the book or as plain text.
September 2007: Google debuted a new feature called "My Library" which allows users to create personal customized libraries, selections of books that they can label, review, rate, or full-text search.
October 2008: A settlement was reached between the publishing industry and Google after two years of negotiation. Google agreed to compensate authors and publishers in exchange for the right to make millions of books available to the public.
November 2008: Google reached the 7 million book mark for items scanned by Google and by their publishing partners. 1 million are in full preview mode and 1 million are fully viewable and downloadable public domain works. About five million are currently out of print.
May 2009: At the annual BookExpo convention in New York, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google.
In December 2009 a French court shut down the scanning of copyrighted books published in France saying it violated copyright laws. It was the first major legal loss for the scanning project.
April 2010: Visual artists were not included in the previous lawsuit and settlement, and are the plaintiff groups in another lawsuit, and say they intend to bring more than just Google Books under scrutiny. “The new class action,” reads the statement, “goes beyond Google’s Library Project, and includes Google’s other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists.”
May 2010 : It is reported that Google will launch a digital book store termed as Google Editions. It will compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and other electronic book retailers with its very own e-book store. Unlike others, Google Editions will be completely online and will not require a specific device (such as kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.).
June 2010: Google passes 12 million books scanned.
December 2010: Google eBooks (Google Editions) is launched in the US.
March 2012 Google reached a settlement with publishers.
April 2013 Google's database encompasses more than 30 million scanned books.
Google Books Partner Program
The Partner Program is an online-book marketing program designed to help publishers and authors promote their books. Publishers and authors send their books to Google which are digitally scanned by Google and made searchable – all for free. These books are made available for limited preview, and according to Google, users can browse through "typically about 20%" of these books.
Google Books Library Project
The number of participating institutions has grown since the inception of the Google Books Library Project; The University of Mysore has been mentioned in many media reports as being a library partner. They are not, however, listed as a partner by Google.
- Harvard University, Harvard University Library
- University of Michigan, University of Michigan Library
- New York Public Library 
- University of Oxford, Bodleian Library
- Stanford University, Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR)
Other institutional partners have joined the Project since the partnership was first announced.
- Bavarian State Library
- Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon
- Columbia University, Columbia University Library System
- Committee on Institutional Cooperation
- Complutense University of Madrid 
- Cornell University, Cornell University Library
- Ghent University, Ghent University Library/Boekentoren 
- Keio University, Keio Media Centers (Libraries)
- National Library of Catalonia 
- Princeton University, Princeton University Library
- University of California, California Digital Library
- University of Lausanne 
- University of Mysore, Mysore University Library 
- University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas Libraries 
- University of Virginia, University of Virginia Library
- University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Wisconsin Libraries
Google Books allows users to create a personalised collection or a library of books. Users need to sign in using their Google accounts to use this feature. Books in the library are organised using 'bookshelves'. Books can be added to the library using the 'Add to Library' button that appears along with search results and in the 'Overview' page of books. The library can be shared with friends by making bookshelves publicly visible and sharing the secret library URL. Users can also easily import a list of books to the library using the ISBN or ISSN numbers. There are four default bookshelves which cannot be renamed: Favorites, Reading now, To read and Have read.
Additionally, the Google Books library consists of a number of default bookshelves to which books get added automatically. Users cannot add or remove books from these bookshelves. These are:
- Purchased (shows all purchased books, even if they are deleted from the Google Play library)
- Reviewed (shows books for which the user has written a review)
- My Books on Google Play (shows all the books in the user's Google Play library)
- Recently viewed
- Browing history
- Books for you (recommendations based on other books in the library)
The Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers separately sued Google in 2005 for its book project, citing "massive copyright infringement." Google countered that its project represented a fair use and is the digital age equivalent of a card catalog with every word in the publication indexed. The lawsuits were consolidated, and eventually a settlement was proposed. The settlement received significant criticism on a wide variety of grounds, including antitrust, privacy, and inadequacy of the proposed classes of authors and publishers. The settlement was eventually rejected, and the publishers settled with Google soon after. The Authors Guild continued its case, and in 2011 their proposed class was certified. Google appealed that decision, with a number of amici asserting the inadequacy of the class, and the Second Circuit rejected the class certification in July 2013, remanding the case to the District Court for consideration of Google's fair use defense.
Other lawsuits followed the Authors Guild's lead. In 2006 a German lawsuit, previously filed, was withdrawn. In June 2006, Hervé de la Martinière, a French publisher known as La Martinière and Éditions du Seuil, announced its intention to sue Google France. In 2009, the Paris Civil Court awarded €300,000 (approximately US$430,000) in damages and interest and ordered Google to pay €10,000 a day until it removes the publisher's books from its database. The court wrote, "Google violated author copyright laws by fully reproducing and making accessible" books that Seuil owns without its permission and that Google "committed acts of breach of copyright, which are of harm to the publishers". Google said it will appeal. Syndicat National de l'Edition, which joined the lawsuit, said Google has scanned about 100,000 French works under copyright.
In December 2009, Chinese author Mian Mian filed a civil lawsuit for $8,900 against Google for scanning her novel, Acid Lovers. This is the first such lawsuit to be filed against Google in China. Also, in November that year, the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) accused Google of scanning 18,000 books by 570 Chinese writers without authorization. Google agreed on Nov 20 to provide a list of Chinese books it had scanned, but the company refused to admit having "infringed" copyright laws.
In March 2007, Thomas Rubin, associate general counsel for copyright, trademark, and trade secrets at Microsoft, accused Google of violating copyright law with their book search service. Rubin specifically criticized Google's policy of freely copying any work until notified by the copyright holder to stop.
Google licensing of public domain works is also an area of concern due to using of digital watermarking techniques with the books. Some published works that are in the public domain, such as all works created by the U.S. Federal government, are still treated like other works under copyright, and therefore locked after 1922.
Some European politicians and intellectuals have criticized Google's effort on linguistic imperialism grounds. They argue that because the vast majority of books proposed to be scanned are in English, it will result in disproportionate representation of natural languages in the digital world. German, Russian, French, and Spanish, for instance, are popular languages in scholarship. The disproportionate online emphasis on English, however, could shape access to historical scholarship, and, ultimately, the growth and direction of future scholarship. Among these critics is Jean-Noël Jeanneney, the former president of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Google Books versus Google Scholar
While Google Books has digitized large numbers of journal back issues, its scans do not include the metadata required for identifying specific articles in specific issues. This has led the makers of Google Scholar to start their own program to digitize and host older journal articles (in agreement with their publishers).
- Internet Archive is a non-profit which digitizes over 1000 books a day, as well as mirrors books from Google Books and other sources. As of May 2011, it hosted over 2.8 million public domain books, greater than the approximate 1 million public domain books at Google Books. Open Library, a sister project of Internet Archive, lends 80,000 scanned and purchased commercial ebooks to the visitors of 150 libraries.
- HathiTrust maintains HathiTrust Digital Library since 13 October 2008, which preserves and provides access to material scanned by Google, some of the Internet Archive books, and some scanned locally by partner institutions. As of May 2010, it includes about 6 million volumes, over 1 million of which are public domain (at least in the US).
- Microsoft funded the scanning of 300,000 books to create Live Search Books in late 2006. It ran until May 2008, when the project was abandoned and the books were made freely available on the Internet Archive.
- Europeana links to roughly 10 million digital objects as of 2010, including video, photos, paintings, audio, maps, manuscripts, printed books, and newspapers from the past 2,000 years of European history from over 1,000 archives in the European Union.
- Gallica from the French National Library links to about 800,000 digitized books, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and drawings, etc. Created in 1997, the digital library continues to expand at a rate of about 5000 new documents per month. Since the end of 2008, most of the new scanned documents are available in image and text formats. Most of these documents are written in French.
- Google Play
- Digital library
- List of digital library projects
- A9.com, Amazon.com's book search
- Book Rights Registry
- Book scanning
- Universal library
- The basic Google book link is found at http://books.google.com/. The "advanced" interface allowing more specific searches is found at http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
- "Where do these books come from?". Google Books Help. Google. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- Greg Duffy (March 2005). "Google's Cookie and Hacking Google Print". Kuro5hin.
- "Where do you get the information for the 'About this book' page?". Google Books Help. Google. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- Perez, Juan Carlos (October 28, 2008). "In Google Book Settlement, Business Trumps Ideals". PC World. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
Of the seven million books Google has scanned, one million are in full preview mode as part of formal publisher agreements. Another one million are public domain works.
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Adapted firmware of Elphel 323 camera to meet needs of Google Book Search
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When Google announced in December 2004 that it would digitally scan the books of five major research libraries to make their contents searchable, the promise of a universal library was resurrected. ... From the days of Sumerian clay tablets till now, humans have "published" at least 32 million books, 750 million articles and essays, 25 million songs, 500 million images, 500,000 movies, 3 million videos, TV shows and short films and 100 billion public Web pages.
- Bergquist, Kevin (2006-02-13). "Google project promotes public good". The University Record (University of Michigan). Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Pace, Andrew K. (January 2006). "Is This the Renaissance or the Dark Ages?". American Libraries. American Library Association. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
Google made instant e-book believers out of skeptics even though 10 years of e-book evangelism among librarians had barely made progress.
- Malte Herwig, "Google's Total Library", Spiegel Online International, Mar. 28, 2007.
- Copyright infringement suits against Google and their settlement: "Copyright Accord Would Make Millions More Books Available Online". Google Press Center. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "Google book scan project slows down". Law Librarian Blog. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved March 2012.
- "The National Digital Public Library Is Launched!". The New York Review of Books.
- Google: 129 Million Different Books Have Been Published PC World
- "Books of the world". Google. August 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
After we exclude serials, we can finally count all the books in the world. There are 129,864,880 of them. At least until Sunday
- O'Sullivan, Joseph and Adam Smith. "All booked up," Googleblog. December 14, 2004.
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- Jen Grant (November 17, 2005). "Judging Book Search by its cover" (blog). Googleblog.
- "Library partners". Google books. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
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- Helft, Miguel (May 24, 2008). "Microsoft Will Shut Down Book Search Program". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
Microsoft said it had digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles.
- Cohen, Noam (February 1, 2009). "Some Fear Google's Power in Digital Books". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
Today, that project is known as Google Book Search and, aided by a recent class-action settlement, it promises to transform the way information is collected: who controls the most books; who gets access to those books; how access will be sold and attained.
- "Massive EU online library looks to compete with Google". Agence France-Presse. November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
Google, one of the pioneers in this domain on the other hand, claims to have seven million books available for its "Google Book Search" project, which saw the light of day at the end of 2004.
- Rich, Motoko (January 4, 2009). "Google Hopes to Open a Trove of Little-Seen Books". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
The settlement may give new life to copyrighted out-of-print books in a digital form and allow writers to make money from titles that had been out of commercial circulation for years. Of the seven million books Google has scanned so far, about five million are in this category.
- "Google updates search index with old magazines". MSNBC. Associated Press. December 10, 2008. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google Inc. has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.
- "Official Google Blog: Search and find magazines on Google Book Search". Official Google Blog.
- Rich, Motoko (2009-06-01). "Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- Faure, Gaelle (December 19, 2009). "French court shuts down Google Books project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
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- Jessica E. Vascellaro (4 May 2010). "Google Readies Its E-Book Plan, Bringing in a New Sales Approach". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Google launches eBookstore with more than 3 million titles". MacWorld.
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- "Google and the world brain - Polar Star Films". Google and the world brain - Polar Star Films.
- "Google Books ruled legal in massive win for fair use".
- "Siding With Google, Judge Says Book Search Does Not Infringe Copyright", Claire Cain Miller and Julie Bosman, New York Times, November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- "Google to scan 800,000 manuscripts, books from Indian university". Ars Technica.
- Hindustan Times. "Google to digitise books at Mysore varsity". http://www.hindustantimes.com/.
- "Library Partners".
- "Harvard-Google Project". Harvard University Library. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Michigan Digitization Project". MLibrary - University of Michigan. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
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- "Google partenaire numérique officiel de la bibliothèque de Lyon".
- "Columbia University Libraries Becomes Newest Partner in Google Book Search Library Project". Columbia University Libraries. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Complutense Universidad + Google" (PDF) (in Spanish).
- "Cornell University Library becomes newest partner in Google Book Search Library Project". Cornell University Library. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Ghent/Gent + Google
- "Keio University to partner with Google, Inc. for digitalization and release of its library collection to the world For "Formation of Knowledge of the digital era"". Keio University. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Google digitaliza 35 mil libros de la Biblioteca de Catalunya libres de derechos de autor". LA VANGUARDIA.
- Cliatt, Cass (2007-02-05). "Library joins Google project to make books available online". Princeton University. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "UC libraries partner with Google to digitize books". University of California. 2006-08-09. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne/Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire (BCU) + Google (in French)
- Anderson, Nate (2007-05-22). "Google to scan 800,000 manuscripts, books from Indian university". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "The University of Texas Libraries Partner with Google to Digitize Books". The University of Texas Libraries. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
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- "University of Wisconsin-Madison Google Digitization Initiative". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "My Library". Google. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
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- Jean-Noël Jeanneney (2006-10-23). Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe (book abstract; Foreword by Ian Wilson). ISBN 0-226-39577-4. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
- Barbara Quint, "Changes at Google Scholar: A Conversation With Anurag Acharya", Information Today, August 27, 2007.
- The number of Public Domain books at Google Books can be calculated by looking at the number of Public Domain books at HathiTrust, which is the academic mirror of Google Books. As of May 2010 HathiTrust had over 1 million Public Domain books.
- "Internet Archive and Library Partners Develop Joint Collection of 80,000+ eBooks To Extend Traditional In-Library Lending Model". San Francisco. February 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
During a library visit, patrons with an OpenLibrary.org account can borrow any of these lendable eBooks using laptops, reading devices or library computers.
- "Microsoft starts online library in challenge to Google Books". AFP (Melbourne). 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
Microsoft launched an online library in a move that pits the world's biggest software company against Google's controversial project to digitize the world's books.
- Xio, Christina. "Google Books-An Other Popular Service By Google". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
Few years back the Microsoft abandoned the project and now all the books are freely available at the Internet archive.
- Snyder, Chris (November 20, 2008). "Europe's Answer to Google Book Search Crashes on Day 1". Wired. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Google Books.|
- Google Books homepage
- Google Books Information Page
- Google Books Timeline
- Jeffrey Toobin; Google's Moon Shot
- PublicDomainReprints.org – an experiment that prints public domain books from Google Books
- Robert Darnton – Google & the Future of Books