We are testing a potential new recommender service for UC-eLinks

The University of California Libraries will be experimenting with a 2-month trial of bX Recommender, an academic library recommender service that points users to relevant scholarly articles on the topics they’re researching via the UC-eLinks window.   bX is a service of Ex Libris, UC’s vendor for UC-eLinks (SFX), and is similar to other recommender tools such as Amazon’s “Customers who bought this item also bought…” or Netflix’s preferences feature.  bX generates its recommendations based on actual use of link resolver services using anonymized data contributed by academic institutions from all over the world.  The trial was endorsed by the UC Heads of Public Services (HOPS).

The service makes connections between articles as searchers discover and access them, so it is continually being refined and improved as more people use it and contribute their data to the system.

What do we gain from bX?

Our goals in participating in the trial are to assess whether this product helps users discover additional relevant articles on their topics as well as to generate the greatest use of UC’s collections by referring users to sources they might not have uncovered without the tool.  Adding UC libraries’ search data to the larger pool would also contribute enormously to the service. 

About the bX trial

The trial will take place between the dates of April 11- June 10.  When users’ UC-eLinks results are returned, they will see a message that says, “Users interested in this article also expressed an interest in the following;”   Up to 10 articles will be available for viewing, with the first 3 showing in the window.

During the trial period, CDL will disable the linking within a frame feature (where the user lands directly at the article within a UC-eLinks frame) so that users will be sure to see the new bX service and we can appropriately assess its value.  CDL’s User Experience Design team, in partnership with a UC campus library, will assess this tool during the trial period.   In addition, there will be a bX recommender comments link in the UC-eLinks window for staff or students to provide us with feedback on this service.

How can you help?

Please encourage your users at public service desks, in classes, chat reference, and in one-on-one sessions to try out this new feature.