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Google Opens Books to New Cultural Studies

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Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1600
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1600

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Mathematicians have used Google Books, the company's ambitious—and controversial—project to digitally scan every page of every book ever published, to analyze the growth, change, and decline of published words over the centuries. The first explorations of the Google Books data are now on display in a study published online this week by Science. The researchers have revealed 500,000 English words missed by all dictionaries, tracked the rise and fall of ideologies and famous people, and, perhaps most provocatively, identified possible cases of political suppression unknown to historians.