Tell Meta from Data. Tracing the Origins of Big Data, Bibliometrics, and the OPAC

Krajewski, Markus. (2017) Tell Meta from Data. Tracing the Origins of Big Data, Bibliometrics, and the OPAC. Osiris. A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 32 (1). pp. 224-240.

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This essay discusses “Big Data” as a historical phenomenon with a long trajectory, dating back to the ancient library of Alexandria and its methods to counter information overload. The essay looks at different situations in which the proliferation of data posed problems and focuses on the development of systems and techniques—for example, bibliometrics—to cope with this abundance. After a brief inquiry into the origins of Big Data as a phenomenon, I will explore a distinction that is necessary to grasp the concept of Big Data, and which proves imperative in order to cope with the consequences of information overload. The distinction between data and metadata will be discussed and developed by dint of the history of the electronic library catalog called OPAC, which fuses two strands of Big Data: quantification and automatization.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Künste, Medien, Philosophie > Fachbereich Medienwissenschaft > Medienwissenschaft (Krajewski)
UniBasel Contributors:Krajewski, Markus
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:29 Mar 2020 11:02
Deposited On:28 Mar 2018 08:17

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