About GOKb

Why GOKb?

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 ERM systems, link resolvers, 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 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.

GOKb is technically refined and maintained by project staff located at the German library networks Head Office of the GBV (VZG), and the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz). The Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) acts as a central data manager and is as such responsible for editorial coordination.  The GOKb volunteer community includes librarians in the United States and, mainly, Europe during the current pilot phase. It harvests and curates metadata for approximately 600 packages, researches and documents journal title and publisher changes, and resolves data errors and anomalies identified through the ingest process. For the German GOKb community all journal titles are intended tob e enriched with ZDB identifiers, allowing for identical title definitions in all information systems re-using GOKb data.

Project Governance

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. Since 2017 the hbz, VZG, as long standing members of OLF, and the ZDB have been 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. Jisc of the United Kingdom provided additional support.