Recommender Systems: Investigating the Impact of Recommendations on User Choices and Behaviors
Recommender systems have been used in many information systems, helping users handle information overload by providing users with a way to receive specific recommendations that fulfill their information seeking needs. Research in this area has been focused on the recommender system algorithms and improving the core technology so that recommendations are robust. However, little research is focused on the user-centered perspective of recommendations provided by recommender systems and the impact of recommendations on user’s information behaviors. In this paper, we describe the results of an exploratory survey study on a book recommender system, LibraryThing, and the impact of recommendations on user choices, particularly what users do as a result of getting a recommendation. Based on survey respondents, our results indicate that users prefer member recommendations rather than the algorithm-based automatic recommendations and about two third of users that responded are influenced by the recommendations in their various information activities.
Digital Asset Preservation as a Risk Management Process
A collection of digital assets [e.g. text, images, audio/video, data, etc.] can be viewed as analogous to a portfolio of financial assets. As such, ways of looking at risk drawn from the financial markets sector are translatable and applicable to collections of digital assets. This presentation will introduce a digital preservation decision-making model based on three components: value, vulnerability and cost. The value of digital assets can be assessed and articulated in alignment with an organization’s strategic objectives. Their vulnerability can be expressed as a combination of the probability of “bad” events and the severity of their impacts. Value and vulnerability assessments are used to display a digital asset collection’s initial risk profile of as well as the profiles that result from implementing different digital preservation strategies. This graphic tool can help make the case for an investment in digital preservation consistent with a defined level of risk tolerance.
The HackLibSchool Experiment
HackLibSchool is a collaborative project that developed out of a perceived need for greater connections between LIS students as they transition from school to professional life. Beginning in October of 2010 as a publically-edited Google Doc, “HackLibSchool” quickly became a cross-institutional mantra, inspiring conversations on topics from pedagogy and curriculum in LIS to the practical experiences of life as a library school student. In its current incarnation HackLibSchool is a group blog featuring editors/bloggers representing 7 different schools, open submissions for guest authors, and ongoing critical discussions on education in library and information science. Micah Vandegrift, who created and manages the HackLibSchool experiment, will discuss the intricacies of it including inspirations, development, and future ideas.