Knowledge Base+ focuses on the data that underpins e-resource management. Workshops throughout the HE Library community highlighted this as an area that ALL libraries struggle with and that is very time-consuming. That’s one impact.
There is a great deal of confusion and miscommunication between publishers, librarians and subscription agents. But most importantly the people affected by this are the users of our services students and academics. That’s the second impact of KB+ – making the online library more reliable – thereby better supporting the core education and research needs of our institutions.
The benefits of focusing on the data is that the Knowledge Base+ service will ‘add value’ to a whole range of other local databases, ERMs, link resolvers and knowlegebases: that’s the third impact. It has the potential to act as the single point of truth for this core data, enabling it to be reused in a multitude of ways. This means that Knowledge Base + can rightly claim to be vendor neutral.
Vendor neutrality is also very important in terms of getting buy-in from all those involved in the supply chain, especially third party providers who may have their own Knowledge Base. Because Knowledge Base + is built on open standards, other providers can potentially feed data in, and pull data from, this centralised Knowledge Base, cutting down the existing discrepancies between services. So Knowledge Base + does not compete, but instead seeks to enhance, existing related services as well – that’s the fifth impact.
The sixth impact is cultural – the poor state of data management is being exposed by the project with all of us involved in the ERM supply chain being challenged to get our act together and not accept poor quality data. This cultural change should help drive up standards, and enhance the user experience, beyond the confined of this project.
I’m looking forward to seeing how libraries choose to make use of the data provided and we’re expecting exemplars to emerge as we enter the beta phase.