Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruhe Institute of Technology

Modern Mart

Modern Mart Logo

Scientific Libraries in Information Markets

Scopes for Organisation and Recommendations for Operation


Duration   February 1st, 2002 - January 31st, 2004
Funding Institution   German Research Foundation (DFG)External Link within the scope of the research initiative
V3D2: Distributed Processing and Delivery of Digital Documents (DFG-SPP 1041)External Link
Project Team   All participating project partners belong to the University of Karlsruhe (TH)External Link:

The market of scientific literatur is changing due to the success of the Internet, new information and communication structures and the appearance of digital documents. This also affects university libraries, which have to find a role in the new worldwide developing information markets.

In the course of the interdisciplinary project Scientific Libraries in Information Markets, which can be found under the acronym Modern MartExternal LinkModern Mart (Modeling, Experiments, and Simulation with/in Information Markets) as well, the future role of university libraries in digital information markets has been studied. One of the objectives was to find a better competitive position for scientific libraries. This task could be fulfilled through the development of innovative information services and their integration in already existing library information services as well as through the optimization of university libraries' business processes and the resulting decrease of all participants' transaction costs.

Beginning with a market model and value chain, the positioning and action alternatives for university libraries regarding the economical and legal environment are examined. To create a standardized customer oriented access to different providers and a basis for the integration of data, an agent-based platform was developed for this market. As an example for a new innovative service a recommendation service was developed and integrated into the library systems of the University Library of KarlsruheExternal Linkand the State Library of BadenExternal Link. Based on Ehrenberg's Repeat-Buying theory, recommendations are calculated from users' behaviour. A total of 15 million documents are covered by the catalog, which results in the worlds largest recommender system of this kind. As a prerequisite for charged services several payment methods have been studied for usability in library systems. Moreover the proposed market strategies and technical implementations were evaluated in simulation experiments. Finally, during a campus wide field test, the priced article delivery service LEA for students (local electronic article delivery system) has been introduced at the university library and its acceptance and elasticity of demand has been analyzed.

Besides new scientific findings, a strong focus was laid on the practical usability and realization. This particularly applies to the recommender service and the article delivery service LEA for students, which have been developed in course of the project and are now part of the library's standard services. Furthermore the recommender system is intended to be used in other libraries as well. The achieved research results give new stimulus for the reorganisation of university libraries, which will become service centres for scientific information supply. The developed technical implementations contribute to the necessary new infrastructures.