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A multi-source book review system for reducing information overload and accommodating individual styles

Gloria Yi-Ming Kao (Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)
Chi-Chieh Peng (Institute for the Information Industry, Hsinchu, Taipei, Taiwan)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 21 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the performance of the multi-source book review system (MBRS). MBRS was designed to reduce information overload using the internet and to accommodate different learner preferences.


The authors experimentally compared MBRS with the Google search engine. MBRS first gathers reviews from online sources, such as bookstores and blogs. It reduces information overload through an advanced filtering and sorting algorithm and by providing a uniform user interface. MBRS accommodates different learning styles through various sort options and through adding video-mediated reviews.


Results indicate that, compared with Google, MBRS: reduces the information overload associated with searching for online book reviews; increases users finding satisfactory book reviews; and allows users to find reviews more quickly. In addition, more than half of the participants found video-mediated book reviews more appealing than traditional text-based reviews.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies might examine the effects of other recommendations or sorting methods to fit individual preferences in a more dynamic way.

Practical implications

This study assisted readers with a preference for visual information in locating reviews of personal interest in less time and with finding reviews more aligned with their individual learning preferences.


This study documents an innovative web site featuring video-mediated book reviews and other mechanisms to accommodate individual preferences. Search engine designers could integrate book reviews with different media types to reduce cognitive load allowing readers to focus attention on the reading task. Internet booksellers or library staff may use this as an effective means to enhance reading motivation.



This research was funded by the National Science Council of the Republic of China, Taiwan, under contract No. NSC 102-2511-S-011-005-MY3. The authors would like to thank the editor of Library Hi Tech and the anonymous reviewers of this paper for their kind assistance and helpful suggestions.


Kao, G.Y.-M. and Peng, C.-C. (2015), "A multi-source book review system for reducing information overload and accommodating individual styles", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 310-328.



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