KB+ Version 7 – New User Interface

We are very excited to share the new KB+ user interface providing librarians with a clear environment where local data (subscription, usage, licence, finance and entitlement) can be stored, managed, exported and compared.

This new user interface accompanied by high quality data (curated by the KB+ team) increases the KB+ potential in making an impact on the HE community through contributing to the metadata supply chain

We would also like to thank all those involved in developing our new more intuitive interface including the valuable contribution from 50 HE librarians (current and non-users of KB+) whose feedback has been essential towards the collective success of this project.

A few highlights of the new user interface include;

Improved visual clarity introducing clear icons, colour based navigation and simplification of the terminology.

Displaying key licence properties alongside subscription information.

A goal oriented dashboard with an emphasis on KB+ expert tools, primary user tasks, and surfacing relevant content.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback on the new interface. You can contact us either via the green support button in KB+ or emailing us at knowledgebaseplus@jisc.ac.uk.


KB+ Newsletter – April 2017

Our special edition newsletter celebrating 5 years of KB+ with comments from the community and a time line of how the service has developed over the years.

image of newsletter

UKSG17 Highlights

Photo of KB+ party

KB+ celebrates its 5 year anniversary

I was fortunate enough to attend the 2017 UKSG conference this year (recordings and slides from the conference are available online)

One of my highlights of the conference was the KB+ celebration we hosted on Monday evening. Thanks to all who attended, it was such a pleasure to be able to mark our 5 year anniversary with the community who have helped us build the service. We were treated to kind words from Liam Earney (Director of Jisc Collections) & Richard Parsons (Director, Library and Learning Centre, University of Dundee) on the impact KB+ has made to the e-resources landscape. We also had a sneak preview of the work on improving the KB+ user interface. In preparation for the celebration we also contacted the KB+ community to ask them to reflect on the service and we were able to share some of their thoughts too. (see our April Newsletter)

Another highlight was the breakout session on “KBART Recomendations: challenges & achievements”, which included presentations from Magaly and Chrissie as well as Julie Zhu from IEEE. From the early days KB+ has championed the need for standards to help with the management of e-resources and it was really interesting to hear about what progress has been made and what we can still do to help improve the situation. It was clear from the panel that while there needs some initial investment from all stakeholders in the e-resource chain the benefits, for example increased discoverability of content, continue to be worth it.

The final highlight of the conference was the people. From all the excellent speakers who generously shared their experiences and knowledge leaving me enthused, inspired and with a stack of further reading, to the serendipitous meeting of new people & exchanging new ideas and thoughts, to the opportunity of putting a face to a longstanding email relationship and finally the fun in spotting former and current colleagues on the dance floor. For me the heart of the UKSG conference is the community and I was grateful to be a part of it this year.

Usability Workshops

The KB+ team has started working on the improvement of KB+ user interface to enhance user experience and usability. On the first phase of this work, we are carrying out some user research to try to understand the needs of our audiences better. Part of this research will consist of two user workshops with existing and new users.

Location and dates

There will be two usability workshops.

  • Manchester on Wednesday 27 April 2016 from 11.00-15.00
  • London on Tuesday 5th April 2016 from 11.00-15.00

You are welcome to join either the workshop in Manchester or  London. Each workshop will run with only a small number of participants from 11.00am to 15.00pm.

Some goals of the study include;

  • To try and understand the needs of our audiences better
  • To identify the key tasks that are being performed with KB+
  • To identify how users would like to see KB+ improved in the future

What should you expect?

An interesting interactive day whereby you are given the opportunity to put forward your ideas for the improvement of the user experience of this increasingly used application. The session will involve discussions, be quite hands on, interactive and hopefully enjoyable !

Please can you can you confirm your attendance to either workshop, including your chosen venue as soon as possible as places are limited to anita.martin@jisc.ac.uk. Once attendance has been confirmed directions to the venue will be sent out to you.

KB+ eBooks Decision Support Development Workshop

I recently attended an ebooks workshop focusing on developing a tool as part of KB+ which would provide ebook decision support, providing useful information on ebook platforms to support purchasing decisions and helpdesk queries. This work follows on from the ebook jisc co-design project and provided an opportunity to comment and provide feedback on this potential support tool,

From the report, anecdotal evidence, surveys etc. it was clear that the selection, provision, delivery and management of ebooks for libraries comes with a number of challenges. The ebook report refers to them as ‘pain points’  examples include being bound by DRM, inability to print, download etc. It was also interesting to hear what new challenges were beginning to rise such as how data migrates in changes of platforms, improving navigation to content etc.

The focus of this workshop related to collating the appropriate data for evaluating the available platforms. University of Hull had created a useful spreadsheet noting different criteria across a number of ebooks platforms, for example what devices is the platform compatible with, does it work with speech recognition software etc. The Northern Collaboration have also done work along the same lines, building on all this work and in discussion with other institutions the team were able to put together a prototype of a potential tool using the foundation of KB+/GOKb. This tool allowed you to either filter by category to see a list of platform that match your requirement or alternatively identify a package/platform and then view its criteria.

During the workshop there was a lot of discussion on what type of data would be useful to collect and who should be responsible for collating the data.

It was encouraging to see that the core foundations KB+ was built on, such as collaboration, sharing information and de-duplicating efforts, continues to be used in this new ebook development. There was also some positive feedback during the workshop on KB+’s approach with regards to being able to gather together common issues and talk to the publishers/vendors on behalf of the community.

I left the workshop with a better understanding of how collating and sharing this information on a national scale not only helps institutions in saving time and resource but also in terms of analysing the data and identify what improvements are needed in this landscape.

KB+ Workshop: Financials Development

​We are running a workshop to gather feedback on a new development for KB+ R5 which is intended to manage estimated and actual subscription costs at a variety of levels.

This requirements review workshop will take place on Wednesday 6th May at the Jisc offices in London, Brettenham House, 5 Lancaster Place, London, WC2E 7EN (10.30-15.30). To book a place please email us at knowledgebaseplus@jisc.ac.uk


From the start , libraries have flagged the potential for KB+ to include an appropriate level of financial data relating to subscriptions. Having established the baseline operational service and significant integration with JUSP, in 2014 Jisc Collections worked with the user community to revisit the potential for delivering the ‘magic triangle’ of subscribed entitlement, usage and cost data in one place.

The Workshop

This workshop will provide opportunity for user input to the initial Release 5 development, which is intended to manage estimated and actual subscription costs at a variety of levels.

In order to help libraries in identifying likely workflows, related issues and further requirements, the development team will have a prototype cost management interface to demonstrate using real library data.

The sessions will cover

  • Scope of the KB+ Financials project
  • Prototype demonstration
  • Do we have the right data items, categories and filters?
  • When and how will libraries use this application?
  • Integration with existing KB+ forms
  • What review forms, reports and exports will be valued?
  • Potential and priorities for integration with Jisc Collections and local systems
  • Next steps

To book a place please send an email to knowledgebaseplus@jisc.ac.uk