Gold Dust - In a Nut Shell
In response to analyses of various reports, user requirements
and the outcomes of several user engagement activities across a
series of JISC programmes and related initiatives, Gold Dust will
build upon some by-products of the JISC Users & Innovation
funded ticTOCs project, plus the work of several other projects and
research, in order to produce and test a prototype and consequently
a demonstrator for the delivery of highly relevant, personalised
current awareness content of a variety of kinds to academics,
ultimately without the need for any input by those academics in the
personalisation process. It will test the delivery of this content
from within selected JISC and non-JISC presentation services (i.e.
flexible distribution of matching content), including a university
institutional setting, a desktop tool, and selected web-based
services including a commercial publishing service.
The project will develop Personal Interest Profiles (PIPs) from
existing data. It will exploit the potential of RSS (Really Simple
Syndication) and will aggregate content from numerous sources*. It
will then incorporate text mining techniques and terminological
searching aids in a filtering process between the PIPs and the
aggregated content. It will use the complex information landscape
subject area of engineering as its test-bed, and a controlled group
of fifty academic testers as its main user community, with
additional engagement with the U&I Community.
In the above diagram, from the left:
Test group of people using ticTOCs in order to keep abreast of
journal Tables of Contents.
Their use of ticTOCs produces very interesting usage logs
containing metadata that can be analysed in order to produce
‘Personal Interest Profiles’.
Text mining techniques are then used to match these ‘Personal
Interest Profiles’ with content found from numerous selected,
potentially relevant, RSS feeds.
The results are then delivered in a flexible way at a place of the
Gold Dust is not the easiest of proposals to summarise because
it involves several elements, including personalisation, RSS,
current awareness, text mining, flexible delivery, automated
discovery, multiple content providers (including JISC services and
projects). It’s really the combination of all of these that makes
Gold Dust quite unique, and potentially of great benefit to
academics and researchers.
Saying that Gold Dust will develop potential solutions to
deliver the right information, at the right time, to the right
people, in the right way and in the right place may sound like PR
talk, but it is essentially what Gold Dust is about. – i.e.
developing practical solutions to identify
highly relevant (personalised) items of interest
from amongst a mass of potentially relevant current
awareness information which is being generated (via
RSS) by numerous content
providers (including JISC services and projects, but also others),
and then delivering it as required, to
academics without requiring their input in the
A tiny amount of the current awareness information generated by
JISC services/projects and numerous other content providers (IRs,
publishers, professional societies, information services, etc)
currently hits its potential mark, because RSS produces a river of
information which requires manual filtering or unsmart searching.
Gold Dust will filter this by matching personal interests with
text-mined items, i.e. in a smart way. Uniquely, it will do this
without the need for input by academics beyond that they use the
ticTOCs service in a normal way.
The potential benefits are to academics and
researchers – they would receive highly relevant items of
interest in a way that facilitates use and reduces retrieval
effort. Content providers (including JISC services
and projects) – their current awareness content hits its mark.
Portal managers – their services are enhanced.
Gold Dust would be nothing at all like iGoogle or any other
existing service, although there are a few
similarities in concept with Blastfeed and Scintilla.
* Categories for databases of RSS content will include, but may
not be limited to: new items in Institutional Repositories and
subject repositories, Calls for Papers, funding opportunity news,
patents, press releases, professional society news, engineering
news feeds and component announcements, teaching and learning
resources, journal Tables of Contents, forthcoming conferences,
theses and dissertations, and news from JISC services and