Release 2 of KB+ Meeting

On Wednesday we had our first meeting showing the brand new features Release 2 of KB+. There were presentations during the day from some of the many partners working on KB+, Liam (JISC Collections), Owen (Owen Stephens Consulting) and David (Sero Consulting).

KB+ is a community driven project as highlighted by the range of people involved, JISC, JISC Collections, EDINA, MIMAS, Sero, GOKb, Knowledge Integration Ltd, not to mention those institutions using KB+ and groups such as SCONUL. Much of the functionality and features within KB+ are as of a direct result of collaboration with institutions and throughout the day there was a call for further input and participation.

Liam started the day with an overview of KB+ and it was great to see the growing interest from the community. JISC have added further resource to the project with the addition of new data managers (of which I am one) to work on loading more packages within the knowledge base and helping institution switch on their subscriptions taken. Future plans for KB+ include looking into ebooks and open access however further investigation into the most useful and effective method to collate and present this information is yet required.

Key Dates

Key Dates

Owen was next up providing a live demo of the new functionality in release 2 of KB+ including the new permissions model, adding organisation and role information to licenses and subscriptions and supporting the renewal cycle. Prior to the demo Owen provided an overview to the terminology and structure of the system. With regards to the renewal cycle they worked closely with Kings College London, University of Huddersfield and University of Stirling to gain a good understanding of their workflows & ensure the system can support it. Owen described the work flow to renewals as ‘Collect, Compare. Correct and Commit’, a description of the workflow is available at https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/kb-support/kb-discussion-documents/renewals/
The  new renewals basket feature within KB+ allows you to compare one package title list with another once satisfied they can be marked as renewed and loaded back into the system. JISC Collections are working on uploading the 2013 collection currently (blog post on progress, to follow) but will also be looking at the 2014 titles and non-NESLI publishers. With the greater content there will be more opportunity to fully exploit all the new features of release 2. Feedback on the new functionality was requested including suggestions for improvements or additional data. (A screencast of Owen’s presentation will be available shortly)

David led the afternoon session talking about developments for the year including release 3 where ‘Improvement’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Collaboration & Community’ were all key elements. Greater integration with other services such as JUSP, ELCat, link resolvers etc are essential to making KB+ more effective and fitting more closer with the requirements and workflows of institutions. Building on the key theme of the day of encouraging institutions to communicate and collaborate we were divided into groups and worked on an exercise to provide user stories on how institutions would like to be communicated with and on what topics.These stories will provide the developers with valuable insight with regards to new features in KB+

The value of the KB+ lies within the knowledge and experience of the community it serves and therefore we are keen to hear from institutions about their workflows, requirement, suggestions and possible collaborations.

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What’s in Release 2 of KB+

We’ve just made Release 2 of KB+ available, which is the culmination of work that started as soon as we made R1 available last September.

This update contains some significant enhancements including:

  •  A facility for Jisc Collections staff to add new Packages and Subscriptions offered to the system
  • Support for ‘renewals’. This is documented at https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/kb-support/renewing-a-subscription/. This is the first release of the renewals functionality, and we will be looking for feedback so we can improve the process in future releases.
  • New ‘core’ properties. We had some very strong feedback that KB+ should support some more properties related to ‘core’ journals. After the update you will be able to record not only that a title is a ‘core’ title, but also what type of subscription is ‘core’ (Print, Print+Electronic or Electronic – or just a plain Yes or No if you want), and the date at which the title started and stopped being core for you. These ‘core’ properties have been added to the main ‘Subscription Details’ screen.
  • New ‘Issue Entitlement’ full display. On the Subscription details screen KB+ lists the details of the journals included in the subscription with some brief details (the start and end dates for coverage in the subscription, and as just noted the new ‘core’ properties). However KB+ has more information which there is simply not room to display in this simple list. In order to ensure all the relevant information is available we have introduced a new ‘Issue Entitlements’ display. You access it by clicking on the Journal title from the Subscriptions page (this previously took you to the journal online – this link is now next to the title labelled ‘host link’). On the new page you can see the full details for the journal within your subscription, and in the parent ‘package’ (so you can easily compare your coverage details with the package default), as well as displaying details of other packages where the same journal title is available – allowing you to easily see alternative routes of access. The full details of this new screen are documented at https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/kb-support/subscriptions/issue-entitlement-display/
  • Change notifications. These were introduced in the last update, but have now been extended. Most updates to a Template licence, including changes to the Key Values, will create a change notification on any linked Actual licences. More details are available at https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/kb-support/licences/updates-to-template-licences/
  • This update also includes a number of small enhancements to the UI – including more concise and consistent date formats (yyyy/mm/dd throughout) and default sort orders for some lists. We have some further enhancements identified but that we were unable to get into this release

We’ve updated the online documentation in line with the changes and as previously this is available from https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/kb-support/

Thank to everyone who has given feedback on KB+ to date, and helped us test and develop the system. Of course we have tested all the updates going intothe release, but if you notice any oddities or issues after the update tomorrow, please let us know via kbplus@jisc-collections.ac.uk