Ex Libris bX Brings Web 2.0 Usage-Based Recommender Services to the Scholarly World

Recommendations from the bX service guide researchers to materials of potentially great value to their work
(PresseBox) (Chicago, IL, ) Ex Libris(TM) Group today announced that the bX recommender service is now available to libraries worldwide, providing library users with recommendations for scholarly articles. Tapping into the power of the networked research community, the bX service generates recommendations based on the analysis of tens of millions of linking activities carried out by users at research institutions worldwide.

In the bX recommender service, libraries are providing a valuable tool that meets users' expectations for up-to-date, Web 2.0-type services. The recommendations are easily accessible through a library's SFX® interface or through the interface of a local application of choice. Registration for bX, offered in a service model, is available online.

The bX service is the result of years of collaborative research into advanced scholarly recommender systems conducted by the Ex Libris bX team and leading researchers Johan Bollen and Herbert Van de Sompel from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Based on data captured through a large-scale aggregation of link-resolver usage logs, bX is an extension of the OpenURL framework. "The scholarly information space is highly distributed, with resources scattered across multiple repositories that are predominately vendor controlled," explained Oren Beit-Arie, chief strategy officer at Ex Libris Group. "Just like SFX, bX is an overlay service that enables the information-seeking user to traverse scholarly resources in a manner that is completely independent of any proprietary constraints."

Twenty prestigious research institutions, located in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia, have already contributed their usage data to bX and tested the bX service with Ex Libris over the past several months through the bX early adopter program. Reflecting on the benefits offered by the bX service, Marvin Pollard of the California State University library consortium, which participated in the early adopter program, commented, "We are very enthusiastic about the bX recommender service. We view this service as an extremely important piece of the triangle of the discovery-recommendation-fulfilment process. This is the next "killer app" from Ex Libris and follows on the success of SFX. Just as SFX has become an essential, powerful tool in connecting our researchers to the resources that they need, we are confident that the bX service will provide our users with the recommendations that they need to support their research."
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