KB+ – it’s time to get involved…

KB+ Presentation – update for January 2013

Now is a really good time to register your interest for KB+ so you can evaluate it fully before it becomes a subscription service. Over 40 other institutions have done so already! Registering an interest DOES NOT commit you to subscribe!

Below is an update presentation I gave recently including screenshots. If the screenshots are offputting, just scroll through them to get to the key messages about next steps.

Contact Liam Earney, Project Director E: l.earney@jisc-collections.ac.uk T: 020 3006 6002

KB+ Shared community activity

KB+ has achieved a huge amount, predominantly through central community management. The vision was always two fold, though, central community management AND shared community activity. It is worth asking the question as to whether we could or should leverage even more value from KB+ in terms of shared community activity?

The first challenge is how to make KB+ more comprehensive in its package and title coverage. The team has done a fantastic job with the nesli2 packages, etc.,  but a comprehensive centrally managed knowledgebase may require a different scale of operation. Rather than just building up a larger centralised team (important though that is!), is there still potential for more shared community activity here, an issue the Community Advisory Group debated extensively last year?

For example, the ability to upload spreadsheets you are working on to share with other  KB+  community users. You could then iron-out some of the main problems using your shared knowledge across institutions according to your own timescales. A draft (non-verified) version could then be made available for the KB+ community in a timely fashion. This draft version could then be reviewed in due course by the main central KB+ community team for final clean-up, verification and formal adoption into the main KB+. Another by-product of such an approach is that a ‘virtuous circle’ may be created as contributors will naturally begin to feel more ownership of KB+ – they will talk of ‘being part of KB+’ rather than ‘subscribing to KB+’ – a change of discourse we would do well to adopt going forward.

Such an approach might help to ‘fast track’ some packages that may otherwise be on the central community management ‘waiting list’ and could not otherwise be looked at for several months. So the scaleability of KB+ in terms of the comprehensiveness of its coverage is one of its challenges and success in this area will have a significant impact on community take-up and future sustainability.

Another key challenge for the service is how to make the KB+ site really “sticky”, i.e. the first port of call for e-resource librarians and library staff involved with ERM processes. My utopian vision is to see KB+ being so attractive to library staff involved in ERM that they want to log in first thing in the morning and keep it open all day.

For example, I’d like to see the KB+ dashboard including more portal functionality to other services too. The integration with other services such as JUSP and elcat will obviously help with this, making KB+ more of a one stop shop. But here are a few other ideas off the top of my head:

1. Ability to add an Alert (and attach a spreadsheet) without necessarily tying it to an existing KB+ package – that way we can start to discuss packages and journal titles not yet on KB+ (that would also help with prioritising)

2. An instant messaging service and/or online chat service between users with private or shared messaging

3. An RSS feed you can customise for relevant mailing lists and E-resource related blogs:

4. A twitter feed – already on homepage but not on Dashboard

5. A log file to show real time ‘who else is working on’ and ‘what others are editing’ with optional display of institutions (institutions could opt-in to having their information displayed)

6. Software enhancements list with ‘Me too!’ and/or voting functionality

7. Data and packages priority list with ‘Me too!’ and/or voting functionality

8. Headline reports shown in graphical format


In other words, functionality to make KB+ feel more of an interactive three dimensional, living, evolving community (not just a service) – i.e. very different from other systems. Such functionality could potentially be achieved through APIs.

We have to be able to confidently answer the question – what makes KB+ different from other services? In answering that, we need to get our mindsets into the roles of the library staff who administer ERM activities and the information they need to be scanning and reviewing in ‘real time’. They may have a different vision from the one I have articulated above, so let’s hear more about their needs going forwards. What is stopping some E-resources Librarians from embracing KB+?

Although there is no guarantee that functionality to support this kind of additional community activity can be included until after the July 2013 release, it seems an appropriate time to be considering this if we are to make KB+ as attractive as possible to the community and ensure library directors will subscribe.

KB+ Impact

  • Improving the reliability of e-library data, thereby improved end user experience and trust
  • Reducing time and cost spent managing data that underpins ERM, especially renewals
  • Adding value and accuracy to vendor knowledge bases that drive library systems and link resolvers (ROI)
  • Improve licensing and negotiation in UK, especially through more reliable historical data and entitlements
  • “Do once and share” principle working at many levels
  • Potential for enhanced communication between librarians and institutions
  • Successful shared service

KB+ What’s next?

1. Renewals functionality being implemented
– Enables comparison between deals and years
e.g. between a publisher’s Complete List and a new package
– Differences shown in reports
– Local changes can be made and then the data uploaded from the edited spreadsheet
2. Historical data and post-cancellation rights
– Collect and normalise historical data relating to journal agreements
– Title lists and licences from e and paper formats
– Normalise data and load into KB+
3. Multi-year representation
– Navigation / filtering of multi-year data in user interface, reports and exports
4. Data Management and Workflows
– Maintain and update all current data for 2013 including updates to Licence and Subscription information
– Support for management, tracking and cascading of generic KB+ changes to your local KB
5. Add in new agreements, especially non-JISC agreements
– E-journal agreements
– Full text databases
– E-book agreements
– Open access
– Consortium relationships
– Functionality to enable consortia to use KB+ efficiently, drawing on the SHEDL exemplar
6. Communication and building the Community
– Improvement of Notes and Alerts to support communication and annotation across the KB+ community
Community Advisory Group will be consulting on how to make KB+ the first port of call for library staff and communication across the community
7. Integration
– Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) and Electronic Licence Comparison and Analysis Tool (Elcat)
– Other third party services via imports and exports of data, e.g. see JISC HIKE Project at Huddersfield

What does KB+ do today?

I’ve been getting myself up to speed with KB+ developments in preparation for a talk I’m giving and thought I’d share my notes on what KB+ does now (based on Liam’s presentation to JISC Collections). Respect to the implementation team!

  • Replaces manual records and filing cabinets for ERM
  • Maintains local subscription data in one place (currently nesli2 deals)
  • Populated from generic, verified subscription information held by JISC Collections
  • Maintains list of journal entitlements for ‘big deals’ (packages) for each year
  • Enables packages to be linked with one or more publisher or aggregator platforms
  • Can edit start dates and end dates for individual journal titles (useful for keeping link resolvers up-to-date)
  • Enables ‘core’ titles to be identified for each subscription year (the titles that are so often ‘in dispute’ with publishers at renewal)
  • Links journal subscription data and entitlements to the relevant licenses
  • Provides summary license terms ‘at a glance’, showing ‘rights’: e.g. Coursepacks, Interlending, Walk-in, Partners, etc.
  • Allows original licenses (documents) to be uploaded
  • Allows for local and shared Notes to be added
  • When changes are made to generic subscription data or licenses, library staff are alerted to accept (or reject) local changes
  • Journal titles and entitlements can be edited individually or in batches to suit local needs
  • Packages can be copied to act as templates for new packages or created from scratch