The maintenance of knowledge base metadata across the scholarly publishing supply chain is a difficult task. Many publishers and content providers supply KBART-formatted title lists to a few commercial knowledge bases, each of which must consume, normalize, disseminate, and update that data in an endless cycle. Libraries, as consumers of this data, participate in the supply chain by performing quality control and reporting errors back to their knowledge base vendors. However, each library’s efforts benefit only those others who happen to subscribe to the same product. The current supply chain is messy, duplicative, and entwined with proprietary products.
GOKb’s mission is to solve problems across the supply chain by providing a central, open platform where stakeholders can create and share metadata of interest to the community. Within GOKb, participants can work on creating high-quality data in areas that mesh with their skills and priorities. The data can then be reused by anyone, for any purpose. Potential use cases include knowledge bases providers looking to supplement their data, libraries building open source software, and individuals experimenting with open data.
What is GOKb?
GOKb’s metadata includes core knowledge base components, such as titles, packages, holdings, platforms, and organizations. An enhanced data model supports tracking of changes over time and provides transparency regarding data provenance and currency.
All of the data provided by GOKb is made available under the CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication Waiver for open data. Use of this license means that GOKb’s data is freely available for reuse by anyone, for any purpose, without attribution. The data can be accessed via our web application or API. A SPARQL endpoint is in development and will be available later this year.
GOKb is maintained by project staff located at North Carolina State University Libraries and a volunteer community that includes librarians in the United States and Europe. The GOKb community harvests and curates metadata for approximately 400 journal packages, researches and documents journal title and publisher changes, and resolves data errors and anomalies identified through the ingest process.
Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb) operates under the umbrella of the Open Library Foundation (OLF). OLF provides continued access to software code and document repositories, collaboration tools, and administrative and legal services. The role of the GOKb’s steering committee is mainly an advisory one. The North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz), the Head Office of the GBV (VZG), as long standing members of OLF, and the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) are currently responsible for the overall project management. OLF and GOKb are working together to identify and implement new areas of development.
With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, GOKb was initially designed and implemented by the Kuali OLE founding partners: North Carolina State University (lead school), Indiana University, University of Florida, Lehigh University, Duke University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania; in addition, Jisc of the United Kingdom. In 2017 a major change in the organisational structure of GOKb occurred: three German organisations (hbz, VZG, and ZDB) assumed responsibility for hosting, maintenance and development of the software.