There’s always good news coming outta Google…

Online citation techniques are a pain. None of them work perfectly, they often require special html hacks or the like, and getting shiny things like rollovers to work for that mythical little old lady out in the middle of nowhere who still uses dialup and IE 2 is pretty much impossible.

But hope springs eternal for those of us who hang on every word that Google Labs decide to put out into the ether. The newest bit I’ve come across is especially exciting– a way to include direct HTML links to scans of out-of-copyright books using Google Books.

This is great. You want to encourage people to check your quotations and assertions? You can now provide a quick and painless link. I think there’s a lot of possibilities for teachers who use class-based blogs with their students, too.

I’m a little reluctant to get too happy, as Google’s not been the best at recognizing the out-of-copyright status of certain texts, especially (and especially annoyingly) things that were written and published initially to be in the public domain, but may not be 100 years old, like certain government documents, or things published by those who eschew copyright on moral grounds. But it’s good news, nonetheless, and I can’t wait to play with it and see what I can get out of this improved functionality to Google Books.

(Thanks to the folks over at Blogging Pedagogy for making me aware of this…) 

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