UKSG17 Highlights

Photo of KB+ party

KB+ celebrates its 5 year anniversary

I was fortunate enough to attend the 2017 UKSG conference this year (recordings and slides from the conference are available online)

One of my highlights of the conference was the KB+ celebration we hosted on Monday evening. Thanks to all who attended, it was such a pleasure to be able to mark our 5 year anniversary with the community who have helped us build the service. We were treated to kind words from Liam Earney (Director of Jisc Collections) & Richard Parsons (Director, Library and Learning Centre, University of Dundee) on the impact KB+ has made to the e-resources landscape. We also had a sneak preview of the work on improving the KB+ user interface. In preparation for the celebration we also contacted the KB+ community to ask them to reflect on the service and we were able to share some of their thoughts too. (see our April Newsletter)

Another highlight was the breakout session on “KBART Recomendations: challenges & achievements”, which included presentations from Magaly and Chrissie as well as Julie Zhu from IEEE. From the early days KB+ has championed the need for standards to help with the management of e-resources and it was really interesting to hear about what progress has been made and what we can still do to help improve the situation. It was clear from the panel that while there needs some initial investment from all stakeholders in the e-resource chain the benefits, for example increased discoverability of content, continue to be worth it.

The final highlight of the conference was the people. From all the excellent speakers who generously shared their experiences and knowledge leaving me enthused, inspired and with a stack of further reading, to the serendipitous meeting of new people & exchanging new ideas and thoughts, to the opportunity of putting a face to a longstanding email relationship and finally the fun in spotting former and current colleagues on the dance floor. For me the heart of the UKSG conference is the community and I was grateful to be a part of it this year.

Building a better Knowledge Base

I have been in my new role as data manager for a few months and one of my main tasks is adding new collections of titles into KB+. Our first priority has been Nesli2 collections. In some cases publishers kindly supply KBART files of their collection, others direct us to a title list on their website or we garner the information directly from their web pages . Once we receive the files we need to reformat them in order to upload into KB+.

Before uploading we often attempt to check the data quality. This can include comparing against a title list acquired from a different source, comparing against last years list (using the comparison basket feature in KB+), checking for known title cessations or transfers. We are currently using tools such as SunCat to help with the data verification but are looking to other services and collaboration with international services to ensure consistency and accuracy. Depending on the outcome of these checks we are then faced with how best to resolve any found issues, such as title misspellings, incorrectly assigned DOIs, incorrect ISSNs before this data is loaded into KB+.

I have been mainly using Excel to manage and manipulate the data prior to loading into KB+ and therefore tools such as the ‘conditional formatting’ to find duplicate ISSNs have proven to be useful. I am planning investigating tools such as Google Refine to help manage this data more effectively, especially with regards to breaking down large title lists into appropriate collections and automate some standard formatting.

I am also looking forward to release 3.1 of KB+ which is looking to provide more integrated communication channels.

In working collaboratively and sharing data errors I think we can help build a good quality source of data.