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7.1.1 Differences Between Aggregations and Individual Content Providers

It is important to note that coverage issues for e-journals and e-journal packages are very different from coverage issues for a title within an aggregated database. All subscribers of an aggregation have the same rights to the same titles; libraries are simply leasing access to the collections created by database aggregators. When content is added or deleted, it is added or deleted for all institutions that subscribe to that package, and is very often added or deleted without the institution’s knowledge. As a result, when a coverage error is found and the correct data is verified, the error can be fixed—once—in the global knowledge base.

For individually subscribed e-journals, however, including those in e-journal packages, the title lists and the access rights for the titles often vary from institution to institution, and from contract to contract. The global knowledge base can only represent the overall dates of content available for the title on the online host. The access rights or coverage entitlements must be managed on a customer-by-customer basis, usually within either a customized version of the master knowledge base or a locally installed copy of the knowledge base that is customized by the institution. Coverage discrepancies discovered for an e-journal by one customer may not apply to other customers; as a result, the institution must update just its own holdings list, and not the master knowledge base.

An overview of the current supply chain for link resolver knowledge base data should indicate some of the many challenges facing those trying to make the most of electronic resources via the OpenURL.

7.1.2 Consortial Package Challenges

Institutions that purchase some or all of their electronic resources through library consortia have additional challenges in the transfer of metadata due to complexities introduced by the consortial purchasing. Library consortia differ greatly: some may simply offer a pricing discount for an existing and static product, while others may create unique collections of e-journal content for members of the consortium. Still others may provide a “top-up” purchasing opportunity, whereby members can gain access to resources they had not previously purchased.

When the consortium influences selection of e-resources, it is beneficial for the consortium to be able to distribute its purchasing specifics via the knowledge base manager to all those who have access to these resources.

7.1.3 Institution-specific Metadata Transfer

So far, KBART has concentrated on guidelines for metadata transfer of text content (ejournals and e-books). However, populating knowledge bases with metadata describing non-text content is becoming increasingly important.

7.1.4 Non-text Content Metadata Transfer

So far, KBART has concentrated on guidelines for metadata transfer of text content (ejournals and e-books). However, populating knowledge bases with metadata describing non-text content is becoming increasingly important.

7.1.5 Review of Metadata Transfer for E-Books

The procedures documented in this report allow for the creation and transfer of files describing both e-journal and e-book holdings. The existing guidelines need to be reviewed in light of any feedback from stakeholders on improvements to data fields for ebook content.

7.1.6 Exchange of ERM Data

So far, KBART has addressed the problem of populating link resolver knowledge bases with holdings data. In a future phase, the group will consider the additional data required to populate ERM knowledge bases with data relating to e-resource subscriptions.

7.1.7 Compliance with KBART Recommendations

At the moment, the KBART Working Group members do not feel that we should be working toward a structured standard regarding this data. As noted in Section 5, there are acceptable alternatives to many of the recommendations made in this report, and we do not wish to create extra work for organizations that are already have an effective method for distributing metadata. However, we do wish to raise awareness of what practices can be beneficial or problematic when distributing metadata, and hope that our recommendations can be used by organizations to improve communication with other parts of the supply chain.

To this end, the NISO/UKSG KBART Working Group recommends that this KBART Recommended Practice form a code of practice—similar to that of Project TRANSFER— that organizations are encouraged to endorse. We will also consider establishing a public list of content providers and knowledge base developers that can send and use data in the recommended format.

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