A user’s interaction with a repository may be personalised, for example by saved searches or tailored notifications of new material. Personalisation is by no means specific to repository environments, and it is not clear that repositories raise any particular personalisation issues that do not arise in other environments. However, it is still worth mentioning in this context. Within JISC, the DPIE2 (Developing Personalisation for the Information Environment 2) project investigated how the JISC Information Environment (IE) could make use of personalisation for users of JISC services, and the results of the study are contained in the final report . In particular, the report looks at how the UK Federation infrastructure could support personalisation, for example with extended attributes (Section 2.7 of the report), and some potential privacy and legal issues raised (Sections 4 and 5). The report also proposes some demonstrator projects (Section 7).
There is an issue created by the federation rules, which ‘prevent’ the sharing of attributes between SPs. In cases where users can access resources via multiple routes (i.e. via multiple SPs), this makes personalisation difficult. However, SPs are permitted to share attributes when they have a valid reason and they have obtained consent; this boils down to a decision based on balancing the need to manage risk with the potential benefit to the user.
JISC to keep a watching brief on this area, which in any case is a focus for the JISC IE.