Traditional online systems have long offered users a degree of customisation (e.g. saved searches, preferred display or download formats etc.). These are normally linked to a user’s login account and are not usually available to anonymous users. However more recently a new range of options have arisen enabling increased personalisation of online services based on stored user preferences or search tracking. Inevitably such options are more effective in proportion to the amount of information volunteered by users. NBA’s should therefore be familiar with data protection legislation in their countries and take appropriate measures.

Personalisation options can include:

  • Creation of customised automated feeds (e.g. via RSS) of records for new publications (e.g. by selected authors, publishers or in a specified subject area)
  • Storage of record result sets and search criteria– for regular re-use
  • Creation of custom download sets from stored preferences – e.g. in PDF
  • Storage of a user’s institutional membership information –enabling access to remote lending or other added value services
  • Storage of user payment data – enabling rapid purchase of additional services
  • Storage of contact information – for personalised communication
  • Storage of user preferences (e.g. record fields, number of records per page, formats etc.)  – for customised display and download
  • Support of record annotation with personal notes for research