Investigating the potential impact of non-personalized recommendations in the OPAC: Amazon vs. WorldCat.org

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Abstract

Recent research into the functionality of Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs) has led to a call for such systems to incorporate functionality to facilitate resource discovery, and replicate the information search experience users encounter elsewhere on the Web. Recommendations represent one such feature. Developments so far in this area indicate that non-personalized or item-level recommendations are most suited to the OPAC environment. Whilst a number of such systems have been developed and implemented, research has yet to investigate fully the impact of such recommendations on user performance, search behavior, and system perceptions. This paper presents the results of an exploratory laboratory-based study comparing user behavior in Amazon, which offers non-personalized recommendations, and WorldCat.org, which does not. An analysis of task performance and participant interactions with the systems reveals that the presence of non-personalized recommendations improves resource discovery, search efficiency, and perceived usability. © 2014 ACM.

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Wakeling, S., Clough, P., & Sen, B. (2014). Investigating the potential impact of non-personalized recommendations in the OPAC: Amazon vs. WorldCat.org. In Proceedings of the 5th Information Interaction in Context Symposium, IIiX 2014 (pp. 96–105). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2637002.2637015

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