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Business Research 2.0

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Although many of the 2.0 elements are admirable, particularly the underlying premises of Web 2.0 that identify the Web as platform, encourage user content creation, and empower workplace collaboration, they do require a radical rethinking of how information professionals approach business research. Discovery of next-generation content and validating its value are twin problems. While much of the discussion of 2.0 technologies celebrates new publishing platforms, liberating the thoughts and opinions of nonmainstream media journalists, the immediacy of available information, and the collaborative aspects of information creation, the tool for finding this information fall woefully short of the standards information professionals expect from standard, fee-based services. Information professionals must live with the limitations but should not use those limitations as an excuse to avoid incorporating user-created content in their research procedures. The limitations include scope of coverage, sophistication of search software, and challenges of uncontrolled vocabulary. This article details these limitations and gives tips on business researching.

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