Bib data is now more open — what about knowledge base data?

Recent conversations have highlighted the problem of libraries having easy access to core, non-proprietary data in a form that is readily usable across a range of systems. With OCLC’s welcome move in the direction of more open WorldCat data, libraries will be able to do much more with bibliographic records, whether in the form of MARC records or linked data.

But what about knowledge base data? KB records for electronic resources are core to acquisition, management and discovery systems. Carl Grant notes that libraries are having trouble getting their data out of their knowledge bases. Even where this is permitted, it is often not easy. At its core, KB data represents factual descriptions of information products that publishers, vendors and libraries all seek to either sell or purchase.

This is where the Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb) can make a real contribution. GOKb is not a link resolver knowledge base; it is focused on global-level metadata about e-resources with the goal of supporting management of those e-resources across the resource lifecycle. GOKb does not aspire to replace current vendor-provided KB products. But it does aspire to make good data available to everybody, including existing KBs, and to provide an open and low-barrier way for libraries to access this data. Our goal is that GOKb data is permeates the KB ecosystem so that all library systems, whether ILS, ERM, KB or discovery, will have better quality data about electronic collections than they do today.

The GOKb project is still in the early development phase. We are working closely with the JISC KnowledgeBase Plus project to develop this authoritative data source and services for libraries. GOKb has a project page where you can follow its progress.