Maximising the Knowledge Base

Last week we completed three days of meetings in London (6-9 July) bringing together expertise from the JISC Collections KB+ and Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb – project partners from North Carolina State University and the University of Pennsylvania plus technology partners Knowledge Integration (

GOKb was funded in June 2012 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build a community-sourced knowledgebase for access to e-resource metadata. It aims to enhance the supply chain lifecycle for libraries in managing e-resources, mobilizing community effort to add quality, timeliness and economies to the library management environment. The project is a joint international initiative between Kuali OLE partners (including Chicago, Duke, Penn and NC State) and JISC Collections.

The UK KB+ project is focused primarily on developing trusted data and workflows for locally negotiated e-resource packages. KB+ recognizes the value of the GOKb international effort in establishing the same quality of data for global titles and packages, covering e-journals and looking beyond to e-books.

The two projects are therefore working together in detail to address globally-identified operational problems, including common transfer formats (KBART-based), data models, rules engine and re-use of the Kuali OLE Document Store repository (

The meeting was focused on defining key joint tasks for coming months:

  • Identification and classification of sources of periodic information within the publishing supply chain – for example publisher title lists. Whilst this may sound obvious and straightforward, practitioners are keenly aware of issues regarding format, content and provenance that differ from source to source.
  • Definition of rules and remedial actions relating to the processing of source data – which will range from format standardisation (such as dates) to much more complex update conditions.
  • Specification of an end to end process model and toolset to ingest, transform and process updates with a minimum of human intervention, whilst recognizing the points at which such expertise will be essential (at least in the formative period of operation where rules will need to be optimised and ‘learned’ by the system).
  • Design of a shared data model so that KB+ and GOKb are able to share code (such as the rules base), to present a one-stop approach to import/export in common formats and to identify opportunities for shared services based on once-only management of data.

The partners left London sensing there is even greater scope for collaboration and shared services than was originally envisaged. The challenge will be to convert that opportunity into quality data, code and services, starting with the next joint working group in Chicago in August.

David Kay

KB+ and GOKb project teams in discussion


Testing KB+

Today is an important day in phase 1 as we start the process of testing KB+ with institutions.

We’ll be holding a workshop in London to:

To brief the 10 supporting institutions on development scope and progress

  • To show the results of the work so far
  • To kick start the reports definition work
  • To highlight the work to be undertaken by libraries in the period to mid-July
  • To introduce the means of communication and sharing files

As you can see below It will be a fairly intense day of activity covering the entirety of the data collection and development process to date and what we’ll be looking for the testing institutions to do over the next 6 weeks:

The Data –

  • The model
  • The collection and ingest process
  • What has been entered
  • The review application
  • How libraries can help – checking data (Testers, perhaps everyone), checking the model (SMEs)

Authentication, Authorisation & Access to KB+ –

  • The approach adopted
  • What libraries need to do to get log ins

Introduction to the User Interface development –

  • What have we prioritised and why
  • The things JISC Collections will maintain
  • Repeated concepts – Type, Status, Organisations,
  • Generic operations – Documents & Alerts, Combinations
  • Achieving the right look and feel – Mickey & Mallory

User Interface demo –

  • The Review Application
  • Licenses
  • Subscriptions
  • Entitlements
  • Adding documents
  • Making combinations

Working Groups –

  • Reports
  • User Interface
  • Workflow

Review & Testing Process –

  • Accessing supporting documents
  • Reporting problems
  • Documenting feedback

Reports Design –

  • Fixed development budget
  • Discussion of reports we have in mind
  • Design and testing process

Next Steps –

  • Reviewing the data
  • Accessing the UI
  • Checkpoint conference calls
  • Next Meeting – 9 July

I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I am both very excited that we have managed to get to this point in such a short period of time, but also nervous about what ‘real’ users will say when they see the data that has been collected and how it has been structured.

The project team has always looked at how to improve the data it has available and constantly improving it in response to our own discussions and critiques, putting it in front of the people who we hope will make use of KB+ in the long term is an essential part of the process, but also a moment of truth.