Knowledge Base+ in a nutshell

Phase I of the Knowledge Base+ project aims to develop a centralised, shared, above-campus knowledge base of data useful to electronic resources management (ERM) at institutional level.

It aims to provide institutions, and the services they use, with timely, accurate, verified and structured ERM information, including e-resources publication, licensing, subscription and entitlements data.

In partnership with other existing services and initiatives, e.g. Journal Usage Statistics Portal and the License Comparison Tool, the knowledge base also aims to extend and enhance existing data and services rather than creating yet another silo.

The knowledge base is NOT an ERM product and therefore it is not trying to compete with ERM or LMS products in terms of functionality or tools – the focus is on quality metadata, and improving the availability of high quality metadata relevant to UK academic institutions to existing ERM and LMS products.

As far as possible, the knowledge base will be based on open principles using open standards (e.g. COUNTER and ONIX) in machine readable structured formats (e.g. KBART) that enable the data to be imported into existing systems, and shared between related systems, for multiple purposes and reuse. The knowledge base will be accessible to all participants through its own authenticated user interface.

The existence of the knowledge base will start to meet the aim of minimising the costly duplication of staff time and effort in the population, maintenance and correction of existing knowledge bases, include link resolvers, supplier knowledge bases, institutional ERMs, etc.

The project also aims to provide alerting services concerning renewals, title changes, known issues, service availability, etc.

Scope: A full set of key deliverables for Phase I is outlined on the official Knowledge Base+ website. Phase I is more about identifying, piloting and implementing the overarching framework and infrastructure based around a core set of NESLi2, SHEDL, WHEEL and JISC eCollections agreements, rather than providing a fully comprehensive service from day one.

Planning for Phase II will commence in spring of 2012.

Where does this Project sit within the SCONUL Shared Services initiative?

The SCONUL Shared Services Feasibility Study for UK Higher Education  – was completed November 2009 and included a final report. The SCONUL Shared Services for Electronic Resources Management (ERM) project  arose as one strand from this and was about “helping to understand how ‘above campus’ (consortium or national) electronic resource management might benefit university libraries and what functions such a shared service might encompass” and was completed May 2011. This Knowledge Base+ Project then emerged from this strand.

Further information: SCONUL Shared Services wiki


The project is overseen by the KB+ Project Board which includes representatives from JISC, JISC Collections and the SCONUL Shared Services Steering Group, which is continuing to explore other aspects of library shared services e.g. the potential for shared LMS activities.

Representatives from other key stakeholders such as EDINA and MIMAS are also part of the Project Board. Under the Project Board there is also a Technical Advisory Group, to provide advice and guidance on the technical infrastructure, and a Community Advisory Group to ensure close liaison between the library community and the project.

The principles underpinning the project are outlined on the Knowledge Base+ project website.