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Agent-based Cooperative Collection Development

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  • Gerry Mckiernan
    _ Agent-based Cooperative Collection Development_ In response to my recent posting _Content Analysis of Academic Departmental Homepages_, a respondee raised
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 12, 1998
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      _ Agent-based Cooperative Collection Development_

      In response to my recent posting _Content Analysis of Academic Departmental Homepages_, a respondee raised one of the major issues relating to Web resources of the day -- Quality. In considering a means of identifying Quality of resources that might be presented for consideration by the Model presented in this posting, it occurred to me that one could adopt/adapt the technology employed in Recommendation Agents, i.e., agents that present a user with candidate resources based upon criteria established from an initial questionnaire _and_ subsequent interaction with recommendations made by the Recommendation Service. For example,_Firefly_, one of the oldest and well-known Web-based services that employs Recommendation Agents, is a personal software agent that understands people's tastes and interests, and allows users to access reviews and receive personalized recommendations on movies and music."

      In the context of Collection Development, I see a parallel service that would initially generate a set of candidates resources based _not_ upon a completed questionnaire, but on a Research Interest Profile (RIP) that would automatically be derived from individual faculty members and departmental homepages from a Content Agent [No doubt, we would also want to consider integrating a Conceptual Agent here at some point such that the 'text-expressed' content would be massaged with appropriate synonyms, BT, RT, etc. for the subject domain to represent the homepage _not_ as a collection of terms _but_ of concepts. This massaged RIP would become the basis for searching Internet accessible resoures using an associated Search Agent. The Search Agent would submit the RIP to such sites as electronic bookstores (e.g., Amazon.com) to identify candidate monographs works publisher sites (e.g. Elsevier) to identify possibly relevant print or electronic journals for the 'local' collection', professional society clearinghouse (i.e.,Scholary Societies Project (http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/soc as well as significant Web resources (e.g., OMNI for Medical resources)

      The results of these submissions to these sources would be sent based to the Review Agent that in turn would collate all the results from a Hard Night's Day [:->] and present teh results based upon the relative importance of an individual's RIP or a collective departmental RIP, using an appropriate algorithm. Based upon the selection of items of these retrieved results by a selector, a profile established for a Selector or Bibliographer would be modified to reflect their new and ongoing choices, subsequently affect the dynamics of teh algorithm and the ranked presentation of subsequently retrieved items from future Search Agent searches [One could consider integrating this feedback activity into a Duo RIP that would be the synthesis of a faculty member RIP and that generated from the selecting activity of a bibliographer].

      Likewise, as noted in the original post, as a subscribed member of The Service, the activity of a individual faculty member in his/her selection of material could be feedback to his/her RIP by a Feedback Agent such that the RIP exists in Real Time and at a high level of specificity.

      One could also envision bibliographers who have similar subject responsibility be subscribers to the Service, such that _their_ selections for _their_ cleintele as well as _their_ faculty and departmental RIPs are integrated into a larger System, and that the _collective_ behavior of those of a Similar Mind represents Colelctive Good Judgment.

      It is here through the Combined Group behavior within The System and Service that we can _indirectly_ determine Quality. To more formally establish Quality, we would need other agents, notably an Acquisitions Agent and a Citation Agent. The Acquistions Agent that would provide feedback t The System and The Service to identify a work as formally Acquired [Here we believe that formal Acquisition is a manifestation of a Quality judgment] [The Acquisitins Agents of course would need to be integrated within the institution's Acquisition system]. The Citation Agent would monitor the publications of a researchers to determine if he/she cites/sites works made known by The Service.


      In preparation for an article I will be writing in July on Agent-based Cooperative Collection Development, I would much appreciate any reactions to this scenario. As Always, Any and All contributions, questions, concerns, comments, citations, or queries are Most Welcome!


      Gerry McKiernan Curator, CyberStacks(sm) Iowa State University Ames IA 50011

      gerrymck@... http://www.public.iastate.edu/~CYBERSTACKS/

      "The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Use An Agent! {;->] With Possible Apologies to Peter Drucker
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