Making the long tail of scientific resources mainstream

The Long Tail theory, first introduced by Chris Anderson, argues that in internet-based markets niche content adds up to a huge body of knowledge, but is hidden from most users. In the Long Tail, content is maintained and curated by a large number of small to medium-sized institutions such as memory organisations, including archives and museums, national and digital libraries and open educational repositories.

However, the few large web hubs (editor: e.g. Google, Facebook) hardly support the dissemination of this Long Tail content, leaving a gap for bringing cultural and scientific wealth into educational and scientific processes.

Towards Long Tail content for the masses

The challenge is therefore to reshape content dissemination mechanisms for highly specialised Long Tail content. This is precisely what the recently started EU funded project EEXCESS is planning to do. Its strategy relies on augmenting existing web channels with high-quality content through personalised, contextualised and privacy preserving recommendations. The main concept is to bring the content to the user. This means injecting content into channels used by users, instead of bringing the user to the content. The latter would not be effective as it would involve creating additional portals that compete for user attention in the Long Tail.

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N.B.: This is an excerpt from an article published on, in which Michael Granitzer, Scientific Coordinator of EEXCESS, explains the goals of our project.


Michael Granitzer
Professor for Mediainformatics at University of Passau
Scientfic Coordinator, EEXCESS



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