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.
You are invited to participate in a survey that forms part of a research project investigating the training needs of current and potential KB+ users.
The research is being conducted by Jo Alcock Consulting on behalf of the KB+ team.
The survey asks about your training needs as well as asking for feedback on current training materials. The full survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time.
The third webinar in our series looks at how you can use KB+ to record, manage and track e-resource subscriptions.
Click here to watch a 20min webinar where I look at;
- recording different types of e-resource subscriptions in KB+, such as large collections, single titles, A&I databases etc.
- creating a subscription in KB+
- linking a package to a subscription (providing you with a list of titles)
- the integration with JUSP allowing you to view JR1 statistics for a title within a subscription
- using the advanced view to see which titles are expected in the package in the future and which have left the package.
Our next webinar will be on the 27th April at 14.00 and is about Package Comparisons, please email email@example.com for full details on joining.
Last week we began our new series of monthly webinars, which will run on the last Wednesday of each month, focusing on different areas of KB+.
Click here to watch a 15 min webinar about ‘titles’ which shows how to view a list of all your subscribed titles. (this is a re-recording of the webinar owing to some sound issues with the original recording)
In this webinar I show
- how to filter to a list of titles within a single subscription which could be useful if you need a title list for a specific package.
- how to filter down to single title and from easily view the usage stats for that title, the licence terms, coverage etc.
- how to export the list of titles
- how to check if a title is available through 2 or more packages
For further information on seeing your subscribed titles in KB+ see our userguide.
Our next webinar will be on the 24th February at 11.00 and is about Licences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for full details on joining.
Here are some of the new licence improvements from the latest release, KB+ R5.
The licence comparison tool has been improved in terms of content and design. Where there is an ONIX-PL (machine readable) version of a licence in KB+ you can now compare the full details of licences including terms such as definitions of Authorised Users, and all usage term information. This comparison tool is available via Institutions->Licence Comparison Tool (ElCat)
You can also now compare the simpler KB+ Licence Properties between 2 or more licences. This new functionality is available via Institutions > “your institution” > Compare Licences (KB+ Licence Properties)
These comparison tools can be useful for example when comparing new and old licences to check for changes or helping answer queries about what different licences permit.
There are new Export options to both individual and a list of licences. You can export the titles associated with a licence or the licensed subscription/package or the licence itself including the licence properties.
For example you can now filter your licences by those that allow “Walk in Access” and export a list of all journals which permit this. (if this property is included in your licences)
When you click on a licence you now see the licence properties first, this was changed in response to feedback about showing the most commonly used information first.
It is also now possible to Link to a subscription from the licence screen as well as copying a licence from the licence details screen rather than going back to the licence list.
The aim of these improvements was to help get to the data you need more effectively as well as streamlining workflows.
For more details about the new features in KB+ R5 please watch the 10min screencast.
At a recent KB+ One Day Workshop there was some interest in how KB+ can be used for comparing journal packages, examples of potential use include checking for duplication of titles across different packages, identifying which titles are potential gains or loses when considering moving from one package to another, comparing your entitlements with a publisher title list etc.
There are a number of ways in which KB+ can help answer these questions and we have a series of blog posts covering the tools available.
Comparing one journal package with itself over a period of time
Over a year ago we introduced a new tool Package Comparison, select Institutions > Compare Packages, which allows you to compare a package across a period of time to see what changes have happened to that package, for example this may include new titles joining a package, titles leaving a package, coverage dates being changes etc. This is useful for those packages where the subscription is for multi-year and the one title list is edited for the duration of the deal. For example this tool can be used to compare JSTOR Master from December 2014 to June 2015, by selecting the appropriate filter we can see which titles have been added to the collection since Decmenber 2014 (insert), which titles have been removed from the collection (deleted), which titles have had details amended during the time period (update) and which titles have remained unchanged (No change)
Comparing one package with another
You can also use the tool above to compare one package with another, please ensure you have the appropriate date relating to the package before you click compare. If you wanted to see which titles appear in both packages click on (update) and (No Change) to see all the titles that appear in both packages.
Contact us at email@example.com if you require any support in using the tools I have mentioned above or if you have any examples using the comparison features in KB+ to share with the community.
We have recently added some new Use Cases showing how KB+ is currently being used across the community.
We have recently added some quick reference guides which provide step by step help on how to use KB+ to add licences, subscriptions etc. (All user guides are now available at http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/KnowledgeBasePlus/Help/User-guides/ )
- KB+ Getting started – a quick start guide
- KB+ Profile – guide to setting up your profile
- KB+ Affiliation Requests – guide to approve affiliation requests
- KB+ Licences – guide to adding licences
- KB+ Subscriptions – guide to setting up subscriptions
- KB+ Renewals – guide to renewing title list
- KB+ To Dos – guide to accept or reject To Dos
- KB+ Usage Statistics (JUSP) – guide to show where you can view JUSP statistics in KB+
- KB+Titles – guide to finding information on titles in KB+
- KB+ Export Files (Link Resolvers)
- KB+ workflows
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.
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.
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+.
I was pleased to be invited to attend a ‘Making the most out of JUSP’ workshop to talk about how JUSP and KB+ have been working together. It was a really useful day in terms of gaining a better understanding of the benefits JUSP provides to institutions and also how they have worked in building an engaged and enthusiastic community. I was also pleased to be able to chat about e-resources with librarians, something I never tire of.
The day started with a presentation from Tim Peacock, from the University of Derby and their experience of using JUSP, his talk concluded with some questions which were a useful springboard for discussion amongst the table with regards how they use JUSP, who in the institution they need to share the data with etc. Tim noted that the content coverage in JUSP does not cover all the titles which they subscribe to, this is also the case for KB+ and I can see an opportunity to work together to help prioritise and increase our knowledge base coverage.
JUSP provided practical exercises for groups to work through which highlight the available reports, features and functionality of the system. Judging from the animated discussion and buzz in the room these exercises were really successful and is something I think would be useful to try with KB+.
For my presentation I talked about our similar core foundations in terms of both being a shared service and the importance of collaboration with the community to create systems fit for need. JUSP and KB+ grew from a need to help tackle challenges faced across many institutions and in providing a national solution we offer the opportunity to reduce time and effort.
The need for integration between KB+ and JUSP has been echoed in both communities so I was pleased to demonstrate how you can view JR1 stats in KB+ and also that JUSP are making use of the title lists created in KB+. We have further plans for more effective data sharing between the systems, including aiming to allow institutions to only mark up titles in one system and then sharing this with the other system which again will hopefully save time and effort.
The day ended with a recap of some of the new developments in JUSP including a website refresh, the introduction of Usage Profiling, Counter 4 and discussions with vendors regarding interoperability between systems and use of the JUSP API.
An enjoyable and useful day which I hope is the start of more joint events. Presentations from the day will shortly be available from the JUSP website.
I enjoyed reading the following article in the latest SCONUL newsletter The HIKE project: evaluating Intota and KB+ for the UK marketplace by Amy Devenney, Graham Stone. I was fortunate enough to attend the Jisc HIKE Project Workshop which I blogged about here and the work undertaken by Huddersfield has been extremely valuable in helping develop and shape KB+ into a system that works for libraries.
I was really pleased to see the following quote
“we firmly believe that KB+ will reduce duplication of staff time and effort in the population and on-going maintenance of individual knowledge and will foster shared community and partnership to reduce the amount of work undertaken by each institution”
as one of the key principles for KB+ is about saving peoples time. Working with the community has also been core to the development of KB+ and am looking forward to gathering more feedback and ideas from our upcoming focus groups.
It was encouraging to see how many of the recommendations from the article have been integrated into KB+, such as;
- The ability to view a licence from the subscription which was in our recent release
- The addition of JUSP statistics viewable within KB+ and in the renewal spreadsheet. We are committed to working with JUSP to ensure interoperability and integration, the results from the recent JUSP survey also indicated a keen interest from the community.
- In release 3.3 we began to load ONIX licences into KB to allow you to view and compare usage terms. Work continues on loading licences and enhancing the ‘license comparison’ function.
- We continue to work with vendors including Proquest (Serials Solutions) and there is now a Serials Solution format in KB+ to allow you to export data. We have not however established an API but are keen to gather feedback on the value this potentially provides so please do email us at email@example.com
I think the recommendation to other HE institutions to ‘fully embed KB+ into the journal workflow’ is really valuable and provides a good starting point on how to make the best use of KB+.
This release continues to improve and develop the functionality of the system in response to feedback, including changes to the dashboard, the opportunity to search across almost 20,000 titles now available in the knowledge base and continued expansion on our export formats to now include and export for the OCLC link resolver.
New and updated features include;
On Screen Help
We are introducing information icons on various screens across KB+ to provide additional information. (we are currently working on the text to populate the information icons and this will be available soon) We hope this will help towards making the system more intuitive and easier to use. Each user can decide whether they wish to see the information icons or not, and by default this option is switched off. In order to see this icon you must go to your Profile (menu at the top right of the screen) and edit the new “Show Info Icon” setting to ‘Yes’.
Changes to the Dashboard
- Announcements – you will be notified via announcements of changes or deletions to URLs, these will be applied automatically to your subscriptions so no action is required
- Announcements – these will now be created once a day in order to reduce the number of announcements posted during times of busy activity
- Latest discussion – you will no longer see any automated postings and therefore will be a shorter list focusing solely on discussions created by KB+ users. We hope this will make the dashboard display clearer and make it easier to catchup with the latest discussions.
Log of actions for Licenses & Subscriptions
Under the ‘History’ tab you will be able to see a list of your actions in relations to any ‘To Dos’ for a package. You will therefore have a list of which actions you accepted, rejected or are pending per package providing a useful record of the changes that have occurred.
You can now search across all the titles within the knowledge base by selecting Manage>All Titles and entering a search term. Once you select a title you will also be able to see all the packages where this title appears providing a useful overview of cross-coverage.
The search is currently done by ‘Phrase Searching’ but we are keen to hear how you would like this type of search to work and how you would like the results displayed.
We are keen to ensure that you are able to use KB+ data with the other systems you work with and therefore continue to develop export formats which may be of value, please let us know if there are other types of export formats you might require. Our latest addition to the formats is one for the OCLC Resolver, which joins the existing ‘Serials Solutions’ and ‘SFX’ exports.
Previously in order to see relevant export formats you had to edit your profile, we have now removed this requirement to improve accessibility and awareness, and so all users now see all the available export options.
You can now remove a licence from a subscription by going to the subscription details screen and changing the Licence value to ‘None’. This removes the link between the licence and the subscription.
Viewing a License from a Subscription
Once a licence is has been added to a subscription there is now a ‘Link’ which you can click to take you directly to the licence details screen to easily check licence terms and related information. This is in addition to a similar link available from the Issue Entitlement screen.
In the feedback we have been gathering we are aware of the inclusion of aggretated full text title list in KB+ being a clear priority for a number of you.
The key challenges are how to manage packages in KB+ where there is both a very large number of titles and on-going change to the titles. From initial investigations we have found;
- Because ISSNs are often missing (ISSN is an essential identifier to help us guarantee data quality) it would be difficult to load all of the content from an aggregator into KB+
- Because of the contradictions between the data already in the KB+ system and data from aggregators, which means a lot of manual verification, the inclusion of aggregator title lists will be time consuming and potentially come at a cost to other important activities
We would now welcome your input on the best approach to for us to take in order to meet your requirements:
- Should we only upload journals and magazines (excluding the non-journal/magazine material such as conference proceedings and grey literature)?
- Should we only upload material that has an ISSN. This will include journals, magazines, conference proceedings, etc.?
- Should we only upload a set of “preferred titles”. The list of “preferred titles” would have to be provided by institutions?
In addition, the team is looking for recommendations on which collections are more relevant to institutions
We would welcome your feedback in helping us to decide workflows and set priorities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
We have recently added some FAQ to our support pages. We hope they will be useful especially to institutions new to KB+ in giving an overview of the benefits of KB+ and how it could be used.
If you have any tips you would like to share for those starting to use KB+ please follow us on twitter and give us your ideas using the hashtag #kbplustips or just send us an email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Knowledge Base+ (@JISCKBPlus) November 26, 2013
I was also excited to see that on 12th December Laura Wilkinson is holding a “KnowledgeBase+ Day” dedicating some time to get to know the system. You can find out all the details on her blog & follow how it goes on the day using the hashtag #KBPlusDay.
Do let us know if anyone is planning something similar .
If you would like to see some of the new features of release 3.3 in action, hear more about how KB+ and JUSP are working together and other exciting future developments please take a look at the recording of last weeks webinar.
The webinar starts with an introduction from Liam highlighting how KB+ has grown over the last couple of years in both content and features. A focus for the future includes building on communication and collaboration including highlighting how KB+ can be integrated into library workflows.
Owen provides a live demo of the system covering the basics such as adding licenses and subscriptions while showing some of the systems new features.
Jo talks about the benefits of JUSP and KB+ working together and the importance of getting feedback and ideas from the community on how we develop the systems further
The webinar ends with David talking about possible future developments including work with GoKB and the investigation into ebooks and whether or not KB+ could offer a solution.
Alongside working with our Jisc colleagues to add the latest title list for NESLI2 deals and working with other publishers such as OECD we have also begun to look at smaller publishers based on your subscriptions.
(Details on tracking new additions to KB+ are available at, https://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/new-package-alerts/)
We are creating Master lists for smaller publishers such as ‘Academy of Management’ and ‘American Marketing Association’ based on the titles that we know you currently subscribe to. We hope to add further titles to these collections based on your feedback.
Our aim is to ensure we have the titles you require to manage your subscriptions effectively within KB+ so please let us know if there are any collections you are keen to see added to KB+