Personalisation and recommender systems in digital libraries


Widespread use of the Internet has resulted in digital libraries that are increasingly used by diverse communities of users for diverse purposes and in which sharing and collaboration have become important social elements. As such libraries become commonplace, as their contents and services become more varied, and as their patrons become more experienced with computer technology, users will expect more sophisticated services from these libraries. A simple search function, normally an integral part of any digital library, increasingly leads to user frustration as user needs become more complex and as the volume of managed information increases. Proactive digital libraries, where the library evolves from being passive and untailored, are seen as offering great potential for addressing and overcoming these issues and include techniques such as personalisation and recommender systems. In this paper, following on from the DELOS/NSF Working Group on Personalisation and Recommender Systems for Digital Libraries, which met and reported during 2003, we present some background material on the scope of personalisation and recommender systems in digital libraries. We then outline the working group’s vision for the evolution of digital libraries and the role that personalisation and recommender systems will play, and we present a series of research challenges and specific recommendations and research priorities for the field.

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Correspondence to Alan F. Smeaton.

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Smeaton, A., Callan, J. Personalisation and recommender systems in digital libraries. Int J Digit Libr 5, 299–308 (2005).

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  • Digital libraries
  • User interaction
  • Personalisation
  • Recommender systems