The so-called Google-Syndrome results from the easy retrieval of information from the search engine Google, and comprises various elements. The dominance of Google in the digital age renders the rules of printed media (e.g. control mechanisms like authentication of information) largely ineffective, so historians now need to create new rules for source criticism. Almost any subject can be generated from millions of search results, but these are just an extract from the enormous corpus of knowledge contained within Google. Some search results are omitted from Google, perhaps because they are deemed irrelevant and thus the existence of certain materials is overlooked. Another issue is that ‘traditional’ research methods in archives and libraries seem time-consuming compared to the speed of Google. Peter Haber cites the lack of a critical approach with search results from Google, which can be integrated without any reflections (copy and paste culture) in essays, presentations, etc. (Haber, Peter 2004) However Andreas Fickers points out that research on Google is more specific, differing from usual research beginning with a general overview (handbooks) and becoming more detailed with the consultation of monographies, articles and sources. (Fickers, Andreas 2016)
Haber, Peter, «Google-Syndrom». Phantasmagorien des historischen Allwissens im World Wide Web, in: Epple, Angelika/ Haber, Peter (Hg.), Vom Nutzen und Nachteil des Internet für die historische Erkenntnis (Geschichte und Informatik, Bd. 5), Zürich 2005, S. 73-89.
Fickers, Andreas, Digitale Metaquellen und doppelte Reflexivität (26.01.2016), in: H/SOZ/KULT. Kommunikation und Fachinformation in Geschichtswissenschaften, URL: http://www.hsozkult.de/debate/id/diskussionen-2954 (Stand: 05.03.2016).« Back to Glossary Index