By: David Hiscoe
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $333,000 to North Carolina State University to support the second phase of the development of the Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb), an open source project that promises to significantly enhance how libraries manage their electronic journals and books.
Designed and implemented by the Kuali OLE founding partners and Jisc Collections of the United Kingdom with initial funding from the Mellon Foundation, GOKb is a pioneering knowledge base of metadata that describes e-books and e-journals, the models that publishers use to sell them, and the ways that libraries and their users can access them.
GOKb’s data will be made publicly available under a Creative Commons CC0 license so that the tool can be used by anyone and integrated into any system or service, whether commercial or open source. As a service to learning communities globally, it will be freely available to libraries, academic publishers, library service providers, and the public through a web-based interface and application program interfaces (APIs).
GOKb is designed to be a part of the Kuali Open Library Environment (Kuali OLE), the first library management system designed by and for academic and research libraries. NC State and the NCSU Libraries serve as lead institution for GOKb development. GOKb will also be adopted by Knowledge Base+, an electronic resources management service provided by Jisc Collections.
Phase 2 work funded by the Mellon grant will run through December 2015 and will enable further development of the knowledge base, recruitment of library and vendor partnerships, and expansion into key areas such as e-book management, description of open-access resources, and linked data.
Libraries and publishers are now invited to explore GOKb—and become a partner
Phase 1 of the GOKb project is now available for public preview through the GOKb web application. The preview showcases the latest version of the GOKb software and contains representative seed data that describes organizations, packages, titles, holdings, and templates for licensing. Libraries and publishers are invited to use the GOKb preview to search and browse metadata, export package information, and experiment with the system’s API and co-referencing service. The GOKb team is very interested in receiving comments and suggestions from users as they explore the tool.
At this stage of development, the GOKb development group is also especially interested in working with new partners in both the library and the vendor communities. New library partners will be critical to making this community-managed resource increasingly valuable for academic libraries around the globe. Academic publishers who contribute data at this stage of GOKb development will benefit from a tool that is driven by an engaged, knowledgeable community of librarians who will be continually contributing valuable enhancements to data about publishers’ products.