ETH Library Idea Contests

to allow user to add Tags and mark relevance of books

The idea is to make the library not only a place that you looking for books and borrow them , but also a place that you can discover and learn new things. It is a bit like the other idea about adding statistics and critics. The advantage for a Uni library to do it, in comparison to other social cataloguing websites, is that it has a large group of professional users who are able to give more reliable and useful comments and information of the book, and the users also have lots of common interests.

The title / keywords search allow the user to find the books they want very efficiently, but also limited the chance of discovering new, related things. This relevance of books or netĀ of books is a knowledge that can be easily found in the user groups. The library experts cannot be expert in every field, but the users- the students and professors as a whole are a big group of experts. This knowledge should be made accessible and useful in the age of information. The similar thing can already be found in every social media, but as said, the uni has a big group of high-quality users, whose potential are to be discovered. With the relevance function, people can discover books which don't share keywords but may be connected in another way. This is somehow similar to the old experience of walking through the bookshelf where similar books are put together and you have always some nice surprise. This relevance system can also be simply achieved with statistics, like ' the user who borrowed this book also borrowed XXX'

Tags is another example of it. Some contents which are not the main theme of the book may happen to be related to another research topic, this can be marked by the user with tags. That allows the later user to easily find this information. This can be used as a advanced search option that separates from the current keywords.

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AnnetteG Nov 15, 2018

Hello Ysehi Wang - thank you very much for your idea. I have two questions regarding your idea:
- today it is possible to mark documents as favorites. Would a function to share your favorites meet the networking aspect of your idea?
- how often would you take time to tag documents? what incentives are there for users to tag documents?

Yeshi Wang Nov 29, 2018

Hi Annette, Sorry I just see your question here.
Yes I think it would be a good function to share the favorives, or maybe just simply to let other people see what is your favorive books, of course only if you want. I think there's really a lot to learn from the social media platform, the development will be a long term process, and functions can be added with time. I expect there will be people who read a lot or specialise in certain area, or even professor who can really use the platform to share knowledge with others.
for the second question, I think to add tag is actually for oneself to organize the books and knowledge. What I didn't mention is that I actually hope there can be a function that you can organize the book you have borrowed from the library, for example to categorize it with tags, note down additional information which let oneself to easily find it later. (these things you may do it now with a literature management software, but only for yourself). At the moment it is only a long list which is hard to find a book that you've read a long time ago. This tags which done at the beginning for oneself will be a valuable information also for other people.

AnnetteG Nov 29, 2018

Hello Yeshi Wang, many thanks for your explainations and clarifications.

Claudia Lienhard Jan 31, 2019

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

Claudia Lienhard Feb 21, 2019

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

Claudia Lienhard Mar 12, 2019

This idea has been advanced to the current phase