Smart Subjects


The Smart Subjects project aims to increase the discovery and use of library resources through the sensible deployment of lightweight resource recommendation services. These services are built on top of large locally developed subject indexes consisting of rich topical keyword content. Since these services use arbitrary text as input to generate recommendations, these services can be deployed flexibly and easily in a variety of contexts. The first available Smart Subjects service is called Related Subjects and recommends a short list of library subject portal pages related to a user's keyword search.


  • Tito Sierra, Digital Library Initiatives.
  • Steven Morris, Digital Library Initiatives.

Technical Details

The subject index source content currently in use consists of NCSU course catalog descriptions and publication titles extracted from the NCSU Faculty Publications Database. In the near future the subject indexes will expand to include recent published article titles from electronic journals held by NCSU Libraries. The subject indexes themselves are created using SWISH-E. The subject identification script and current recommendation services are written in PHP.

Reports and Presentations

Sierra, T. (2007). "Smart Subjects: Application Independent Subject Recommendations", Code4Lib 2007, Athens, Georgia, February 28, 2007.

Sierra, T. (2006). "Indexing institutional data to promote library resource discovery", Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, 362-362.

Sierra, T. (2006). Indexing Institutional Data to Promote Library Resource Discovery", poster for Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2006, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. [poster]

Last updated: February 13, 2009