New Research in Cataloguing: The Library Catalogue as a Recommender

This announcement into a new research project is quite exciting. I know that I am looking forward to reading about its progress with great interest. The catalogue is a natural tool for recommending items to patrons based on their user-generated data in combination with our expertise. There are a few of us, including some vendors, who see the catalogue as the new readers’ advisory tool, full of rich information that can assist in recommending similar items and exposing our rich collections through this type of catalogue feature. It is nice to see that a research project will be examining this concept too.

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 14 June 2010—The University of Sheffield, in collaboration with OCLC Research, has been awarded funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council to explore a library catalogue recommender system based on the requirements and preferences of users.

The joint Doctoral Award will pay for a dedicated Ph.D. student to work for three years with Dr. Paul Clough and Ms. Barbara Sen, lecturers in The Information School at the University of Sheffield, and Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway at OCLC, investigating the applicability of the recommender concept to the domain of the library catalogue.

Recommender systems suggest items to users that are likely to be of interest to them but have not yet been considered. Sites like use similar systems to great effect.

The goal of the project is to follow a “user-centered” approach to the development of a library catalogue recommender system, establishing user needs and preferences before mining the bibliographic data…[more]



Filed under The Library Catalogue

3 responses to “New Research in Cataloguing: The Library Catalogue as a Recommender

  1. The National Library of Australia is already doing something similar via their Trove project:, although their project doesn’t involve pre-establishing user needs/preferences before searching. Trove incorporates the NLA’s own library catalogue, as well as a number of national databases and a wide range of external web resources.

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  3. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for posting this information. I’ve been trying to watch what’s been happening out in Australia and have made a couple of contacts with librarians there. Very interesting!

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