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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

Open Letter from Non-Commercial Metadata Suppliers Supporting a More Collaborative and Transparent Approach When Working with Link Resolvers and System Vendors

Including Ex Libris Response as of July 18, 2017

As non-commercial and national knowledge bases, we support Higher Education and Research Institutions by providing metadata for electronic resources management and discoverability.
We have two principal features in common:
  • Our activities support the electronic resources supply chain that involves content providers and system vendors/link resolvers.
  • We focus on quality service and user satisfaction. Our commitment has been to make all our title lists open and freely available, as we wish libraries to benefit from our work no matter which system they use.
We encourage system vendors/link resolvers to use this metadata to better serve their customers because:
  • We are the trusted source of metadata for our respective national communities.
  • We provide metadata that meets the needs of our academic library communities.
  • Our metadata is corrected and updated in a timely manner to avoid access delays and minimize the financial and performance losses for libraries that may result from such delays.
  • We help academic libraries to manage their electronic resources in a context of budget restrictions which give them less and less resources to maintain their local link resolvers’ targets and databases.
Ex Libris Response: Ex Libris recognizes and supports the role of non-commercial and national knowledge bases in proving accurate and timely information about metadata for respective national communities. Both the commitment of your organizations to open title lists and the quality of those lists benefits libraries who use our services.
Ex Libris KnowledgeBase serves as a central data repository for supporting electronic resource management library workflows and availability via link resolver services. Libraries who utilize our solutions, such as Alma, rely on our central KnowledgeBase to be able to efficiently manage all of their e-resources within our unified workflows. As such, we work closely with publishers and aggregators to ensure that our KnowledgeBase accurately represents the collections offered.
Communicating the KnowledgeBase updates to our library community is integral part of the KnowledgeBase activity and includes:
  • Weekly news letters listing new collections.
  • Detailed update reports per collection for collections used by the library via the user interface
  • Number of titles per collection is clearly visible via the user interface
In order to bring a better service to BAse de COnnaissance Nationale/Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN/Knowledge Base Plus communities and their customers in France, Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom, we believe that open knowledge base initiatives and vendors have to work together in several areas:
  • All the data available should be uploaded into system vendors’ knowledge bases and link resolvers.
  • All targets should be clearly labeled with either the Knowledge Base Plus, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale, or Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN prefix to help identification.
  • Users should be alerted whenever Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale, or Knowledge Base Plus data is uploaded and updated. These alerts should include, for example:
    • What packages have been/will be uploaded (including their public label).
    • The date when data was/will be uploaded.
    • Number of titles contained in these targets according to your system.
  • Knowledge Base Plus, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale, Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN and data is updated on a regular basis. These updates should be reflected in any knowledge bases that use our data. In order to provide our users with accurate information we need to know:
    • How often data is updated on your systems and how the process is performed.
    • If there is a change in the data, are these changes made by a person or a system?
  • Specific technical requirements from individual vendors’ knowledge bases (such as required URL formats or date formats) should be openly available and if possible harmonized in order to facilitate data creation. If Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN, Knowledge Base Plus and BAse de COnnaissance Nationale have this information, we may be able to fix any upload problems before harvesting.
Ex Libris Response: Ex Libris agrees that open knowledge base initiatives and commercial providers must work closely together for the benefit of the academic library community. At the present time, Ex Libris is ingesting data from several open knowledge base providers into two knowledge base architectures:
  • Alma and SFX
  • 360
Ex Libris provides the following information regarding our current work in the areas noted:

Regarding Alma and SFX Knowledge Bases

Below is a summary of BAse de COnnaissance Nationale/Electronic Resources DatabaseJAPAN/Jisc-Knowledge Base Plus representation in Ex Libris SFX and Alma knowledge bases.

Jisc KB Plus

The KB Plus platform offers collections for both official publisher collections and special, customized consortia collections.
Ex Libris SFX and Alma Knowledge includes KB Plus customized consortia collections. These additions are meant to enable accessibility and easy holdings management of these unique collections.
As of July, 2017 SFX and Alma knowledge bases include 443 KB Plus collections, all labeled with a KB+ prefix.
  • Adding new collections
    New collections available in KB Plus are added to our ingestion pipeline with a corresponding priority which is determined by KB+ and customer requests.
    It is important to point out that in order to assure the quality of new collections for each new collection, there is a preceding analysis process to determine linking and update definitions.
  • Updating Collection
    Once added, each collection is updated automatically based on its corresponding title list in the KB Plus export page (https://www.kbplus.ac.uk/kbplus/publicExport). The process runs daily, and whenever there are any changes in the title list, they are immediately processed, verified and added to the weekly revision.

BAse de COnnaissance Nationale

As of July, 2017 SFX and Alma knowledge bases include 137 BAse de COnnaissance Nationale collections with a commitment to add remaining collections by 2018.
BAse de COnnaissance Nationale collections are labeled with “BACON’ prefix
  • Adding new collections
    Once all BAse de COnnaissance Nationale collections will be available in SFX and Alma knowledge bases, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale should inform Ex Libris of any new collections those will be added to our ingestion pipeline with a corresponding priority which is also determined by customer requests.
  • Updating Collection
    Once added, each collection is updated automatically based on its corresponding title list in the BAse de COnnaissance Nationale export page (https://bacon.abes.fr/exporter.html ). The process runs daily, and whenever there are any changes in the title list they are immediately processed, verified and added to the weekly revision.

Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN

As of July 2017, SFX and Alma knowledge bases does not include any collections of Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN .
We will be happy to work with Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN to add their collections to our knowledge bases.

Regarding 360 Knowledge Base

360 KB includes consortia-specific collections for which we obtain title lists for from JISC, ABES, and ERDB-JP. But only for consortia that are customers of various 360 services (such as 360 Link).. There are also a few specific databases from JISC, ABES, and ERDB-JP that are included in the 360 Knowledge base.
Regarding the specifics listed above:
  • All the data available should be uploaded into system vendors’ knowledge bases and link resolvers.
    Ex Libris Response: Yes, for consortia who are 360 KB clients, or specific individual collections supplied by either JISC/ABES/ERDB-JP.
  • All targets should be clearly labeled with either the Jisc-Knowledge Base Plus, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale, or Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN prefix to help identification.
    Ex Libris Response: For JISC consortia collections we do indicate JISC in the database name. For ABES or ERDB-JP we do not in the majority of cases. However, all consortia collections in 360 KB do indicate the specific consortia they are for.
  • Users should be alerted whenever Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN, BAse de COnnaissance Nationale, or Jisc-Knowledge Base Plus data is uploaded and updated. These alerts should include, for example:
    • What packages have been/will be uploaded (including their public label).
    • The date when data was/will be uploaded.
    • Number of titles contained in these targets according to your system.
    Ex Libris Response: The 360 KB lacks the functionality to automatically alert users of database uploads/updates/changes or the date(s) when these actions were performed. 360 KB does display the number of titles currently in the collection.
  • These updates should be reflected in any knowledge bases that use our data. In order to provide our users with accurate information we need to know:
    • How often data is updated on your systems and how the process is performed.
    • If there is a change in the data, are these changes made by a person or a system?
    Ex Libris Response: Consortia collections obtain via JISC, ABES, or ERDB-JP are all updated monthly, and by a person (Metadata Librarian).
    We have attached the current list of all of the JISC/ABES/ERDB-JP-related databases currently in 360 Knowledge Base.
In order for us to measure whether our members are taking advantage our data, it would be very helpful to receive an annual report showing:
  • The total number of BAse de COnnaissance Nationale/Knowledge Base Plus/Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN packages included in your system.
  • The total number of institutions that have activated them (by country).
  • The total number of Electronic Resources Database-JAPAN, Knowledge Base Plus and BAse de COnnaissance Nationale packages included in your system versus similar targets from different sources, such as publishers.
Ex Libris Response: We have provided the numbers of databases from JISC/ABES/ERDB-JP above for our knowledge bases. As a matter of policy, we do not provide information about institutions and their holdings as reflected in our knowledge bases. Since the number of databases in the knowledge bases changes daily, we can only estimate that the databases from the organizations represents less than 10% of the total databases.
We appreciate our relationship with open knowledge base initiatives, and we hope to have a continuing dialog on how to improve the value and visibility of your data in our knowledge bases.
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