The Architecture of Mr. DLib's Scientific Recommender-System API

Joeran Beel, Andrew Collins, Akiko Aizawa

Recommender systems in academia are not widely available. This may be in part due to the difficulty and cost of developing and maintaining recommender systems. Many operators of academic products such as digital libraries and reference managers avoid this effort, although a recommender system could provide significant benefits to their users. In this paper, we introduce Mr. DLib's "Recommendations as-a-Service" (RaaS) API that allows operators of academic products to easily integrate a scientific recommender system into their products. Mr. DLib generates recommendations for research articles but in the future, recommendations may include call for papers, grants, etc. Operators of academic products can request recommendations from Mr. DLib and display these recommendations to their users. Mr. DLib can be integrated in just a few hours or days; creating an equivalent recommender system from scratch would require several months for an academic operator. Mr. DLib has been used by GESIS Sowiport and by the reference manager JabRef. Mr. DLib is open source and its goal is to facilitate the application of, and research on, scientific recommender systems. In this paper, we present the motivation for Mr. DLib, the architecture and details about the effectiveness. Mr. DLib has delivered 94m recommendations over a span of two years with an average click-through rate of 0.12%.

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