Jerusalem, Israel — January 22, 2009. Ex Libris Group today announced an exciting new Web 2.0 recommender service. Ex Libris bX, a first-of-its-kind service, will provide library users with article-level recommendations based on collective usage data amassed from research communities around the world.
bX is the result of years of collaboration and research into advanced scholarly recommender systems conducted by leading researchers—Johan Bollen and Herbert Van de Sompel from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The bX service derives its recommendations from the analysis of tens of millions of transactions performed by users from research institutions worldwide and captured through a large-scale aggregation of link resolver usage logs. Based on open interoperability standards such as OpenURL and OAI-PMH, bX can be tightly integrated into a library’s existing user environment.
Sixteen institutions in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia have begun testing bX and are working with Ex Libris on ongoing development before the service’s public launch.
Marvin Pollard of the California State University consortium 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/ fulfillment 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 they need, we are confident that bX will provide our users with the recommendations they need to support their research."
Prof Jiang Airong of Tsinghua University Library, in Beijing, notes that "in today’s research environment characterized by exponential growth in the volume of online resources, new tools for discovery are required, as well as new methods for evaluating scholarly material. The bX recommender service is a valuable first step for our users."
Bob Gerrity of Boston College hails the "great opportunity provided by bX for the library to participate in the building of new, value-added services based on the analysis of user behavior. We see tremendous potential in the role of recommender services such as bX in the discovery process."
Commenting on the collaborative aspect of the project, Sue Clarke of Australia’s Monash University says that "the bX service is a good example of how Ex Libris is working with customers to shape and develop future directions in which the system learns from users’ searching patterns."
"bX represents an important step toward realizing a range of new services that leverage the existing tools that are widely deployed by libraries," commented Oren Beit-Arie, chief strategy officer of Ex Libris Group. "The bX journey started with the introduction of the OpenURL framework 10 years ago, followed by the deployment of SFX, the first OpenURL link resolver, by Ex Libris in 2001. Now bX mines the wealth of information contained in the usage logs of link resolvers such as SFX to the great benefit of users and librarians alike. We are very excited to be working in collaboration with librarians and researchers on this important library service."
To find out more about the bX service and to register for updates on the release of bX, visit the Ex Libris Web site or see the bX Blog.
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic, national, and research libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will enable them to transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 70 countries on six continents.
Dedicated to developing creative solutions in close collaboration with customers, Ex Libris enables libraries to maximize productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, greatly enhance the user experience. By empowering users to discover and obtain the information they need, libraries ensure their position as the bridge to knowledge.