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Monday, 23rd December 2013

IFLA Statement on Text and Data Mining

Source: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes (IFLA)

IFLA maintains that legal certainty for text and data mining (TDM) can only be achieved by (statutory) exceptions. As an organization committed to the principle of freedom of access to information, and the belief that information should be utilised without restriction in ways vital to the educational and cultural well-being of communities, IFLA believes TDM to be an essential tool to the advancement of learning, and new forms of creation.

Copyright and database laws can affect the ability of libraries to fulfil their mandates and deliver information services for the benefit of their patrons, and can impede the use of materials by library users in ways that would benefit communities – for scholarship, research, improvements in health and science, creativity and social inclusion.

We live in an era of “Big Data”. OECD figures show that more digital information was created between 2008 – 2011 than in all previous recorded history. No human can read such vast volumes of information, which is why “computer based reading”, using tools such as text and data mining, is so important.

+ Statement (PDF; 133 KB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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