New OCLC Research prototype assesses likely audience for resources in WorldCat, the world's largest catalog of library resources
A user can input a WorldCat number or ISBN and the system will return an assessment of the likely audience (e.g., general academic, general public, child/young adult, graduate/professional research) for the item based on the holding patterns and bibliographic characteristics of the item described in the WorldCat record.
Audience level assessments are useful for collection management, readers’ advisory and reference services.
"One exciting aspect of this service," said co-lead researcher Lynn Silipigni Connaway, "is that it can be useful for building enhanced discovery and recommender services.
"If you're looking for something for a specific user, the audience level assessment can help distinguish among otherwise similar items, so you can target the one most likely to be appropriate for a given user.
"By utilising the bibliographic data we have, in order to add value to familiar library resources, we are making our data work harder and leveraging the value of the collaboratively built WorldCat database," Connaway commented.
The Audience Level prototype is available as a human interface, a web service, and as Greasemonkey scripts for use with the Firefox browser when viewing pages from Amazon and OpenWorldCat.
Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Edward T. O’Neill are the lead researchers of the Audience Level project. The prototype has been developed with the support of Clifton Snyder and Akeisha Heard.
"I think it is a really compelling example - as with xISBN - of how we can derive higher level services from aggregate data," said Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President (Research) and Chief Strategist.
Learn more about the Audience Level prototype
Lynn Silipigni Connaway
Edward T. O'Neill
Audience Level project overview