New for this year are our KB+ One Day Workshops. We ran 2 last month in London; full details on upcoming workshops & booking form are available on our events page.
During the day we provide demonstrations of key features of KB+ followed by a set of exercises with copies of relevant user guides. Examples of the type of exercise include setting up a subscription, exporting a licence etc. We are keen to ensure participants have valuable practical hands on experience of the system to help gain a better understanding of KB+ and its potential. The exercises also provide the perfect opportunity for the data mangers to chat to participants, answer questions and see how KB+ is being used.
In the morning we focus on the role KB+ plays in recording, managing and tracking licences and in the afternoon we look at creating subscriptions, the renewal process and compare packages tool. Each workshop begins with introductions allowing the participants to say what they want from the day to ensure we cover the relevant information.
We also have guest speakers at the workshops. At the first workshop we had a talk from Robbie Ireland about the SafeNet project, “SafeNet is a shared post-cancellation access (PCA) service for UK academic libraries that builds a UK archive collection and clarifies entitlement rights”. It was encouraging to hear they plan to use KB+ as one of the authoritative data sets.
At the second workshop Ben Taplin, Licensing Specialist from Jisc, gave an introduction to ONIX-PL licences. I was interested to see how in picking out the key terms from the dense licence text helped improve the clarity of the key properties within the licence and how it also provided the opportunity to compare licences. It was a useful introduction to demonstrating the licence comparison tool in KB+.
I have really enjoyed the workshops, its been great to meet people, chat about e-resources and share experiences. Initial feedback from those who attended has been also been positive. Hopefully having the time away from work, the opportunity to focus on KB+, meet other institutions using KB+ and support from the data managers on hand provides the right environment to explore the benefits KB+ can provide in managing e-resources.
So if you use KB+, are new to it or just interested to find out more then why not sign up to one of our workshops or webinars on our events page.
Back in March we held a number of focus groups helping us understand your priorities and explore potential new developments to KB+.
These ideas are now being progressed as time and budget allows in a number of ways – notably in the work planned for Release 4.2 in the Autumn, which includes some substantial work on local licences, further JUSP integration and areas you prioritised in the Ideascale poll.
Of the unexplored ‘futures’, the major challenge was how KB+ might usefully integrate and add value to financial information about e-subscriptions.
Our starting point is specialist workshops to capture real detail about what level of financial data would benefit KB+ and how that would fit with your institutional workflows and existing data sources (ranging from spreadsheets to financial systems). We hope to see library teams that are able to provide real working evidence (perhaps even sharing your spreadsheets) and to help define practices that will make a real difference.
The KB+ workshops will be in:
- Edinburgh (Wednesday, 27th August)
- London ( Wednesday, 10th September)
If you are interested, please contact the KB Plus team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book on to your preferred event or to discuss further.
Based on that initial work, the team will then consult with libraries to develop the strands arising, with a view to proposing an approach by the end of the year, with the possibility of development taking place in 2015.
There is information in the latest JUSP newsletter on how JUSP and KB+ are working together with further exploration of rationalising the ‘core’ title functionality offered by both services and the addition of more 2014 title list in JUSP.
The newsletter also covers the recent workshop, new training resources and usage profiling reports.
With a new release comes a number of fixes and new functionality, including some of those identified in our focus groups early this year.
Some of the main changes for 4.1 include;
Renaming ‘Manage’ menu to ‘Institutions’
In renaming this menu we hope this helps navigating KB+ and locating necessary information easily. From this menu you can search across KB+ as well as go directly to your subscriptions, license etc.
Multi-Year Package and Master list
There will be one title list (package) for the duration of multi-year deals this will be updated as titles join or leave the package (eg title transfers between publishers). For these packages you will no longer need to follow the renewal process of uploading a new list each year which we hope will save time and help reduce confusion.
We will be updating the title list as information becomes available; addition of new titles, adding ends dates and coverage notes for title changes, cessations and transfers. In 4.1 you now have an enhanced view of these title list allowing you to see titles have been removed from a package and which are expected to join a package. As previously we recommend subscribing to the announcements and dealing with ‘To Dos’ as they arise in order to track all changes.
ONIX-PL Licence Comparison
Under the ‘Institutions’ menu you have the option for ONIX-PL Licence Comparison, you can pick a primary licence as the basis of the comparison, then compare one or more other licences. The comparison compares all parts of the ONIX-PL licence and includes the ability to display the relevant licence text and annotations.
We will be updating our help documentation and adding new user guides shortly.
The UKSG annual conference was a busy but informative couple of days, packed with interesting talks, chance to meet people as well as sample a few beers at the conference dinner. Videos & slides and blog posts about the sessions are available on the UKSG site.
There were numerous themes running across the talks however the two which stood out for me and were also key to my presentation were Openess and Collaboration. A core founding principle of KB+ is ensuring the title lists are openly available while collaboration is key to how we continue to develop the service.
This post covers the panel session, KB+ putting theory into practice
I am very grateful to Sonia Wilson from University of Stirling and Phil Hall from Proquest Workflow Solutions who joined me on the panel session. The aim of our session was to show how KB+ is used from different perspectives.
I began the session by introducing KB+ and putting it into context with regards to why the service was created and what it looks like to date. One of my key roles in working with KB+ is with regards to adding data to the knowledgebase, data which we then make openly available to benefit the whole community. Most of what we have achieved is through collaboration and by working together I hope we can create a trusted knowledge base to be used as an authoritative source which in turn will benefit everyone involved, librarians, vendors and publishers.
Sonia talked about how University of Stirling became involved with KB+ and their expectations of the service in terms of how it could help the library. Stirling have been involved with KB+ from the beginning and noted how much the system has changed in answer to demands from the community although there are still areas they would like to see further developed. I was pleased to hear Sonia echo the need for more collaboration and contribution from the community in order for KB+ to provide even more value.
Ending our panel was Phil who was able to talk about how Proquest Workflow Solutions are making use of the data we provide from KB+ and integrating it within their knowledgebase allowing customers to benefit from the title list without an increase to their workload. It was encouraging to see the KB+ title list being used and hopefully the right step towards reducing multiple versions of title list which currently create confusion and more work.
We ran 3 focusgroups in March looking specifically at some of the common pages used in KB+ as well asking for general feedback and ideas.
I was pleased to attend the London meeting not only as an opportunity to feedback on the system from a datamanager point of view but also to meet those using or thinking about using KB+.
At the focus group we were presented with multiple screenshots of the system to comment on which helped focus the discussion. The paperwork (all 477 sheets) from the 3 focus groups has now been collated and entered on a spreadsheet with 998 comments from 45 attendees.
These comments will now be de-duplicated and split into two groups
- Quick necessary fixes – to be added to the development pipeline straight away
- A list of enhancements and improvements which we will be asking the community to vote on.
We wanted to thank everyone who attended for their time and valuable feedback. All your comments and ideas are a great help in planning how we develop KB+.
As KB+ is taken on by more institutions, many of whom were not part of early discussions about preferred workflows and interface layout, it’s very important that we work with libraries to take on feedback and ideas – and also that we have the resources to act on those inputs.
This year’s budget makes provision for this in Releases 4.1 (after Easter) and 4.2 (in the summer).
To be sure we understand your priorities, we will be holding focus groups in three locations in early March as follows. We will cover the following topics at all 3 focus groups
- Management of Issue Entitlements, including package change, renewals, ‘To do’ alerts and JUSP integration
- Licensing & Subscriptions processes
- Potential for inclusion of financial information
- Wednesday, 5thMarch – Central London – Jisc Offices, Meeting Room 2, Brettenham House North, 5 Lancaster Place, London WC2E 7EN.
- Thursday 6th March – Central Manchester –Mimas, the University of Manchester, 5th Floor Roscoe Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.
- Thursday 13th March – Central belt, Scotland – Causewayside Building, National Library of Scotland.
In order to save your time at the events, we will already have scheduled improvements to address a number of cosmetic and operational ‘irritations’ that users and data managers have reported.
Whilst these meetings are geared to taking feedback and ideas from users with experience of the KB+ system, any academic library is welcome to send one or two delegates.
The meetings will take place from 11am to 3.30pm to allow for travel and will be attended by members of the development and data management teams plus colleagues from JUSP.
In order to finalise dates at appropriate venues, please email email@example.com with your interest in attending or sending colleagues, indicating your preferred meeting(s). On that basis, we’ll finalise dates by 1st February so you can make firm bookings.