This project will look at the potential for smart phones to be used for the recording and organisation of bibliographic information for students within a library context. In addition, the app developed will also provide useful usage information to the library.

M-Biblio

We propose to enhance the learning and research activities of the University of Bristol’s academic community by developing a mobile application that can record and organise references to books, journals and other resources. These references can be added actively by scanning barcodes and QR codes, or passively by automatically recording RFID tags in items being used for study and research. With permission of the user, the application will submit anonymous usage data to their library. This innovation will provide library staff with a valuable set of user-derived usage statistics.

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this project is to look at the potential for smart phones to be used for the recording and organisation of bibliographic information for students within a library context.  In addition, the app developed will also provide useful usage information to the library.

Broadly, the main objectives of the project will be to look into what is and what is not currently possible.

This project is effectively looking at an area which has not been studied much before.  Some of the phone based technology necessary to test some of the ideas contained within the project is not yet widely available.  Therefore, as we progress through the project we will begin to get a much better idea of what is and isn’t feasible at the current time.  Once we’ve worked out the areas we can effectively develop, the primary objective will be to get a prototype service up and running which will be tested within one or two faculties at the University.

Primary sub-objectives will be to:

  • try and gauge whether students would actually utilise the technology were it to be made widely available (this will be based largely upon evaluating how useful the service will be to them)
  • look at the benefits (and costs) to the library itself.

What will success look like?


The final outputs of this project will include a mobile phone application which, in the first instance, will be coded natively for the iphone platform.  This application will enable students to record and organise references to any books and journals they utilise.  

It is anticipated that the application will also be able to generate references specific to relevant articles within each Journal (those that include Digital Object Indentifiers anyway).  

The application may utilise an active form of recording (which might include scanning a barcode or utilising a QR code) but we will also be looking into the possibility of embracing Near Field Communication technologies such as RFID tags (the Uni’s Chemistry Faculty has implemented the use of these throughout its library).

Project Staff

Project Team

Dave Kilbey, Project Manager (D.Kilbey@bristol.ac.uk) 
Mike Jones, Technical Lead (mike.a.jones@bristol.ac.uk) 
Stuart Church (Pure Usability Ltd), User Experience specialist
Ben Hayes, User Interface Designer  
Summary
Start date
1 November 2011
End date
1 August 2012
Funding programme
Digital infrastructure: Information and library infrastructure programme
Strand
Information and library infrastructure: Emerging opportunities
Project website
Lead institutions

University of Bristol

Topic