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.
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+.
Jisc Inform, the charity’s termly online magazine, published a look at KB+ in their spring edition. It includes a round-up of the work so far and a look into the future of KB+.
You can sign up to receive Jisc Inform and keep up-to-date with all things education, research and technology!
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+.