Within any of their products, Ex Libris attempts to limit algorithmic and systemic bias, but unintentional errors may result.  Additionally, the act of aggregating content within a common index may reveal preferences/biases held within content sources or in their ranking.  Besides bias within the content source, there may be bias in the metadata that describes that content.  We recognize the knowledge organization system (from the Library of Congress), which many academic libraries and vendors use to create subject access points, contains implicit descriptive biases (Howard and Knowlton, 2018).


There are many different algorithms at play during the search experience – some in the computation of relevancy ranking, others in the display of search results and recommendations, and still others in the use of auto-completion of search terms. To address these sorts of issues, IGeLU and ELUNA created this advisory group to provide Ex Libris with community input on different bias areas observed in discovery use.  This Advisory Group works with the Alma, Primo, Summon, and Content Working Groups and external experts to discuss different approaches to identify, mitigate and diffuse bias in discovery results when performing searches of academic content within the Central Discovery Index (CDI). Later iterations of this group will include local cataloging tools and workflows.

This advisory group will also be responsible for conducting user testing with scholarly communications and reference experts to assess the desirability of various relevance/ranking interventions with fellow librarians and end-users.

Some approaches under evaluation:

  • Segregation and different treatment of specific resource types such as newspapers within CDI
  • Evaluation of a global or locally controlled stop list for potentially offensive subject headings within discovery results
  • Examination of the use of indirect attributes of indexed objects (such as citation occurrence) to assess and assist in diversity ranking (i.e. topic novelty and subject authority)
  • Ranking changes to counter bias and introduce anti-bias in the ranking of search results
  • Different presentation of controlled and non-controlled subject headings within article metadata
  • Use of a wider selection of vocabularies representing a diversity of perspectives from affected communities (i.e. First Nation, LBGTQIAS2S+, HAPI, AIATSIS Subject Headings)


  • Quarterly reports to IGeLU, ELUNA steering committees, and Working Groups on topics, discussions, and recommendations that they will be making to Ex Libris (standing agenda item at Joint SC/Coord meeting)
  • Address issues of potential bias and
  • Consult on features within the Central Discovery index (CDI) that would address problematic, potentially offensive, metadata from content providers
  • Identify tools and resources that could be used to inform and engage the broader end-user community
  • Present at IGeLU and ELUNA annual meetings
  • Produce an annual report with measures of group impact.


Participants for 2022/2023 term include:



User group and representative, or Ex Libris

Pascal Calarco

University of Windsor (Canada)

CDI Advisory co-Chair, ELUNA; ELUNA Steering Committee

Francois Renville

Université de Liege (Belgium)

CDI Advisory co-Chair, IGeLU (September 2022-May 2023); IGeLU Steering Committee

Maribel Alvarado

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)

CDI Advisory co-Chair, IGeLU (May 2022-August 2022); IGeLU Steering Committee

Nancy Babb

University at Buffalo (USA)

Primo (ELUNA)

Gijs Noels

KU Leuven (Belgium)

Alma (IGeLU)

Karin Perols

Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

Co-Chair, Content Working Group (IGeLU)

Charlie Remy

Dartmouth College (USA)

Co-Chair, Content Working Group (ELUNA)

Jiri Pavlik

CzechELib & eduID.cz (Czech Republic)


Stacie Trail

University of Minnesota (USA)


Stacey van Groll

University of Queensland (Australia)

Primo (IGeLU)

Selina Wang

Oberlin College (USA)

Summon (ELUNA)

Guy Ben Porat

Ex Libris/Clarivate

VP, Research and Discovery Solutions

Rael Elstein

Ex Libris/Clarivate

Content Product Manager (until October 2022)

Tamar Gaynor

Ex Libris/Clarivate

Product Manager, Content

David Hanegbi

Ex Libris/Clarivate

Content Operations Discovery Manager

Asaf Kline

Ex Libris/Clarivate

VP, Library Solutions

Dana Moshkovits

Ex Libris/Clarivate

VP, Product Management

Christine Stohn

Ex Libris/Clarivate

Director, Product Management


Terms of Reference – CDI Advisory Group