by Christine Stohn (SFX Product Manager, Ex Libris Group)
and Sherrard Ewing (Provider Relations Analyst, Serials Solutions)
and Sheri Meares (E-Content Manger, EBSCO Information Services)
and Paul Moss (Product Manager for the WorldCat knowledge base, OCLC)

By covering as many available electronic resources as possible — both licensed and free — a global knowledge base seeks to make identifying and managing resources as easy as possible for individual institutions. Building and maintaining such a knowledge base involves a cycle of numerous processes, including building relationships with content providers; gathering data; validating, correcting, and enriching the data; converting it to the internal knowledge base format; performing quality assurance; and keeping the knowledge base up-to-date. A knowledge base with thousands of resources and millions of linked titles can receive data from several hundred providers. Such data can vary greatly in format and in the degree of accuracy, consistency, and completeness. The recommendations provided by the Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) working group are the answer to a clear need for a common format for this data supply.

A key task for any maintainer of a knowledge base is managing the relationship with content providers — agreeing on and organizing the data supply, formats, and frequency of updates. In addition, a knowledge base team works with content providers to identify and resolve any problems that might arise. As a starting point for these conversations, KBART can help facilitate an understanding of the benefits of knowledge bases, such as optimized visibility and increased usage.

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