24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Tactics Session: KBART

September 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment

TACTICS SESSION
KBART: Improving Access to Electronic Resources Through Better Linking

Peter McCracken, Serials Solutions
Reported by Glenda Griffin

Peter McCracken spoke to an audience at the 2009 NASIG conference regarding a joint undertaking of the United Kingdom Serials Group (UKSG) and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).  This ongoing collaboration resulted in the creation of the Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) project.  KBART is aimed at improving electronic access for users through resolution of identified problems regarding the transmission and exchange of data between significant entities.  According to McCracken, these entities, which include content providers, vendors and librarians, struggle with difficulties stemming from three major factors: bad data, bad formatting and lack of knowledge.

McCracken underscored the necessity for education and advocacy for content providers.  Guidance should be directed, among other matters, on an improvement of the understanding of the benefits of OpenURL.  Additionally, providers should be furnished more and better examples of exactly what information is desired from them.  The magnitude of the end-users’ need for completely accurate data should be successfully communicated to providers and vendors, especially with regard to coverage dates and titles.  Ultimately, McCracken emphasized the foremost importance of standardizing the “transfer of data within and among supply chain participants.”

McCracken highlighted the need for the use of standardized file naming structures, and just as important, he presented an example of a tab-delimited Excel file.  The file contained key values providers and vendors could supply in an effort to improve the efficiency of communication and data transmission.  Furthermore, he suggested parties exchange information often and consistently maintain contact.

KBART’s final report is forthcoming.  Project members are currently considering whether or not to include an education section in the report and the possibility of establishing a Frequently-Asked-Questions website.  Also under review is the topic of how to structure error reporting.

On a final note, McCracken conveyed the desire not to harm the positive efforts of providers who are currently providing correct and accurate data.

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