Skip to main content
  • Subscribe by RSS
  • Ex Libris Knowledge Center

    360 KB: Ex Libris Knowledgebases: Content Submission Guide

    Whether you are new to working with ProQuest and Ex Libris or have a long-standing relationship with us, thank you for your interest in submitting data about your products to the Ex Libris knowledgebases: Alma, 360 KB, and SFX. Complete and accurate metadata in vendors’ knowledgebases (KBs) creates a seamless experience for our mutual customers – libraries and their users – between their library’s catalog, discovery systems, OpenURL, and your site. This way, librarians can easily manage their online collections and see their return on investment in your content. If you are reaching out to us about ingestion in any one of the knowledgebases on behalf of our mutual clients, we will ensure your content is represented in all of the KBs.

    If you have any questions about your content in the Ex Libris KBs, or if you’d like to get started working with us, please contact Ex Libris Provider Relations ( We look forward to working with you to create a great experience for our mutual customers.

    About Knowledgebases

    KBs, like library catalogs, keep track of what a library has in their electronic collections and help to connect a library user with the information they seek. Since most institutions spend more on their online resources than print, knowledgebases are crucial to day-to-day e-resource lifecycle management operations and for getting users from the library’s  discovery methods to your content. KBs are driven by quality data supplied from organizations like yours to KB vendors.

    The Ex Libris KBs contain information for more than 7,000 content providers, aggregators, publishers and portals, with over 15,000 collections or packages, which in Alma and SFX are known as “targets” and in 360 KB are called "databases". Targets/databases represent a selection (or all) of the titles available from a content provider. Librarians look for targets/databases that match the product(s), or individual titles that they have licensed from you, and select these as part of their collection. Information about the titles in those databases then allows a librarian to track usage, cost and licensing, receive an authoritative MARC record for their catalog, provides the opportunity for web scale discovery, OpenURL linking, and allows a user to search just their library’s collection for the perfect source for their research and link to your platform for seamless access.

    Ex Libris KBs contain information about text-based sources such as books, academic journals, newspapers, reports, conference proceedings, magazines, etc., and some support for streaming video content, too. If you have any question about whether your content would be a good fit for the KB, please contact us.

    Data & Content Specifics

    Ex Libris prefers that data submitted to the KB meet the KBART Recommended Practice guidelines. KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools) is a cross-industry group of content providers, knowledgebase vendors, and librarians who have created best practices for transmitting title list data for use by vendors and librarians.

    File Format and Naming

    KBART recommends tab-delimited, UTF-8 encoded text (.txt) files for the best compatibility across vendors and ease of use for librarians who may want the information in your files (section 6.4 of the KBART Recommended Practice). Ex Libris can also accept Excel (.xls/.xlsx), CSV, MARC records (for books only), and some types of XML data (depending on schema used and data elements available).

    Separate files should be created for each package or collection (target/database) that contains multiple titles that is sold/licensed to libraries, and one file that contains all titles to allow for libraries to select individual titles that they may have access to outside of a target/database.

    Each file delivered should always contain the full contents of that target/database, which will completely overwrite the previous content delivered.

    File names, if not conforming to KBART’s recommendations (section 6.5), should describe the target/database for which it is intended.  The file name should be stable to allow for automation (date stamps are OK).

    Data Elements/Fields

    KBART recommends 25 static fields (section 6.6) in a specific order, and can accommodate any other optional, uncontrolled fields following those 25. We highly recommend following the KBART recommendation which says all these fields should be included to avoid any misunderstanding. If this is not possible, or you already have a title list following a different format, here are the most important fields to include:

    Required Fields

    Field Name

    KBART field


    Additional info





    Identifier (print)



    ISSN for serials, ISBN for books/monographs/videos

    Identifier (online/electronic)




    Date of first issue available online (start date)




    Number of first volume available online




    Number of first issue available online




    Date of last issue available online (end date)



    For publications with ongoing coverage and availability, leave blank

    Number of last volume available online



    For publications with ongoing coverage and availability, leave blank

    Number of last issue available online



    For publications with ongoing coverage and availability, leave blank




    URLs should resolve without error and lead users to a list of issues or TOC.

    Coverage (Fulltext/abstracts)



    You must supply full text records. Abstract records may be included, but abstract-only files are not requested.

    Content Type



    Either as field in the file (per KBART) or by package name.

    Date Published (Print)




    Date Published (Online)







    Either include embargo information separately, or change dates of affected serials every delivery to reflect "moving wall" availability.

    Recommended Fields

    Field Name

    KBART field


    Additional info





    Title ID



    Your own internal identifier for the title.

















    Parent Publication Title ID




    Access Type (paid or free)




    Linking Information

    Information about linking to the content on your platform is very important.

    If your platform supports a persistent/stable linking syntax to the article, issue, and/or title level, please communicate that linking syntax to us and provide us with some examples using the syntax.

    If the platform supports OpenURL, please let us know which elements are required for successful linking. Examples are useful here, too.

    Please note that we will not load titles with linking errors, including DOIs that do not resolve.

    The content should be live on the platform, not just a landing page for "Coming Soon".

    Delivery Details

    Delivery Methods

    Files must be delivered by one of the following methods:

    Supported File Delivery Methods Description
    Provider-hosted files publicly accessible via website (KBART preferred method) Files on your website must not be behind any authentication and publicly accessible for ProQuest’s use as well as use by librarians and other vendors.
    ProQuest-hosted FTP Site (FTP push) ProQuest will provide a secure login and site details.
    Provider-hosted FTP Site (FTP pull)

    An FTP site hosted on the content provider’s domain.

    Please provide a secure login.

    Update Frequency

    Updated files should be provided according to the frequency of content changes on your site. For example, if you release all your content quarterly, then we only need updates quarterly; but if you release many titles every week, then a weekly or biweekly update may be more appropriate. Files for new collections should be delivered simultaneously with updated files.

    Please keep us informed of upcoming changes to your product offerings (such as platform changes and new or retiring old collections/packages/databases) by notifying your KB team contact or Ex Libris Provider Relations. This will create the best possible experience for our mutual customers by providing them with a seamless transition to content changes on your platform.

    File Listing / Manifest

    Although not required, developing a comprehensive guide to the files that you supply to KB vendors is a convenient way to provide context and details to the files that are otherwise absent. Including a list of the collections’ names and the file name used for each is very helpful.

    A date that the collection/file was initially created will let the KB vendor know whether something is new or not (although it is still very helpful to notify us directly of new collections added).

    Internal collection identifiers, dates that the files last had changes/updates, collection-level URLs, descriptions of the collections, business models used (such as DDA or EBA, perpetual access, etc.), and more, are all helpful if these are something that you can provide.

    If you have additional collection-level information or information about your files that you think may be useful, please let us know. If you will be providing us with a file list or manifest, please notify us. Typically, we will want these to be delivered along with the files you deliver on the site/FTP as detailed above.

    Communication and Contacts

    Provide us with a preferred contact at your organization who is knowledgeable in your products and the data submitted to us, so that we can discuss any possible problems with data feeds, customer issues with the data, and troubleshooting.

    Our Process

    What you can expect:

    1. Content gap is identified by a customer or provider.
    2. Customers requesting data for content providers may be referred to the Idea Exchange, where customers vote on content. This helps us gauge interest in the content, prioritize it, and schedule the work to add it.
    3. Ex Libris KB and Provider Relations team establish a relationship with the provider, and preferred contact information is exchanged.
    4. Provider submits sample data to Ex Libris.
    5. Sample is reviewed; feedback given and changes made if necessary.
    6. File delivery location and frequency are established.
    7. KB team configures the content for compatibility and performs the initial data load.
    8. Periodic reviews are made of content to improve the customer experience.
    9. Ex Libris and the provider will contact one another to communicate issues that affect customers, and/or Ex Libris’ ability to obtain and load data.

    Additional Resources

    Best Practices and Standards
    ProQuest Technical Product Support
    • Customers should submit a case via the Support Portal for any issue with product functionality or data issues that they have in any Ex Libris product.


    If you have any questions about your content in Ex Libris products, please contact Ex Libris Provider Relations at:

    • Article last edited: 01-June-2020