Bohyun Kim - Expediting Access with a Browser Add-on- Open Source vs. Commercial Approach.pdf (8.38 MB)
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NP2021_Expediting Access with a Browser Add-on - Open Source vs. Commercial Approach

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posted on 27.05.2021, 15:18 authored by Bohyun Kim
Slides from “Open versus proprietary in software and systems"


Expediting Access with a Browser Add-on: Open Source vs. Commercial Approach

Providing quick and easy access to the library’s paid resources for researchers has been an ongoing challenge for libraries. One attractive means to achieve this is a web browser add-on, because it has the advantage of being available exactly when and where scholars and researchers spot and try to obtain the full-text content of research materials while online.

LibX, a free and open-source browser add-on developed at the Virginia Tech in 2005, was widely adopted and used by many libraries for more than a decade. But recently it has become defunct due to the lack of development efforts and general support from the wide library community. Now, some libraries have started licensing and implementing commercial products instead. Even though these commercial add-ons and LibX all aim to facilitate and expedite access, there are some distinct differences in their approaches.

In this session, I will (a) explore those differences in the open-source vs the commercial approach, drawing examples from LibX and Lean Library and (b) discuss what may be the ideal user interface design and the feature set for a browser extension that meets the users’ research needs, delivers great user experience, and advances the library’s goal at the same time.