Ex Libris Group, a library technology company, released bX Hot Articles on March 28. Part of the recently launched bX usage-based suite of services, Hot Articles identifies the 10 articles that researchers have selected the most in each discipline in recent weeks, as well as the 10 most popular articles overall. Usage data is gathered from millions of researchers without regard to publisher, platform, or institution.
The service is free for noncommercial use, and will be updated monthly. In addition to online formats such as HTML (tile), XML, JSON, RSS, and Atom, Hot Articles is available as a free app for Android devices and will soon be available for iPhone as well. The company provides API output for those interested in creating their own applications, as well.
Hot Articles was tested by Harvard University, the University of Iowa, Aalborg University, Charles University, and Seoul National University, among others.
Dottie Persson of the University of Iowa said, “We found Hot Articles to be a great addition to our subject guides. It allows students to encounter content that is in their general area of interest but slightly outside of the topics they typically study or the journals they most regularly read.”
“Exploring the potential of usage data for services that extend the traditional library offerings is one of our focus areas,” said David Beychok, vice president of discovery and delivery solutions at Ex Libris. “We will continue to experiment and introduce more services that leverage scholarly usage data.”
Ex Libris Product Manager Christine Stohn explained to LJ the difference between Hot Articles and Most Popular Articles, also part of the usage-based suite: “The Most Popular Articles [feature]… represents the articles that have been most used in 2011, independent from their subject. We are planning to add 2010 data soon and show maybe some trend graphs in future.” Most Popular Articles is only available on Ex Libris’ own website at this time, and Stohn says Ex Libris is “looking for feedback before we develop them further. Publishing them is a little experimental so see what people would use them for and what type of questions and feedback we get.”