As I start to understand the aims of JISC Collections’ KB+ (KnowledgeBase+) project a bit better, it’s starting to seem more and more relevant to the real-life problems of e-resources management. At last week’s meeting of the Technical Advisory Group, here were the things I found particularly interesting:
- The proposed database model for journal package data, which does a neat job of distinguishing between the various ‘layers’ of ERM (in allowing data to be recorded separately for the issue, title, package and platform involved in a particular subscription deal);
- The proposed links with the GOKb project in the USA, including the possibility (and it’s only a possibility at present) for sharing/co-designing data import processes; and the aims of the GOKb project itself in building and publishing collaboratively-maintained journal package data openly for the Kuali Open Library Environment;
- The plans for live user testing of the first KB+ data release later in May, which will include e-resources librarians from 10 institutions getting their hands on the data and initial UI. This seems like a really useful and rare opportunity to do some near-real-world testing with groups of experts in the field of ERM. (N.B. this first group of 10 users doesn’t include the University of Lincoln – but I’ve asked Liam Earney if we could have ‘observer status’!);
- The interesting questions (raised by Owen Stephens) around the complexities involved in representing overlapping journal package deals to e-resources managers – how will the librarians react to having their assumptions (and their mental model of what a journal ‘deal’ is) … challenged? My gut instinct is that we ought to want to know the underlying detail of multiple access rights in a single journal package – to dispel the ‘myths’ that might have grown up about our holdings over several years, even if it makes things look more complicated than we thought they were. (Naturally we need a way of re-presenting / simplifying this complexity to our users.)
I’ll continue to make notes about KB+ on this blog.