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UKSG and NISO Release First KBART Recommendations for Improved OpenURL Data Supply

January 18, 2010 - Baltimore, MD and Newbury, UK - UKSG and NISO are pleased to announce the first report by the KBART (Knowledge Bases and Related Tools) Working Group, a joint initiative that is exploring data problems within the OpenURL supply chain. The KBART Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2010) contains practical recommendations for the timely exchange of accurate metadata between content providers and knowledge base developers.
The KBART Recommended Practice, a report from Phase I of the KBART project, provides all parties in the information supply chain with straightforward guidance about the role of metadata within the OpenURL linking standard, and recommends data formatting and exchange guidelines for publishers, aggregators, agents, technology vendors, and librarians to adhere to when exchanging information about their respective content holdings.

"Six years after NISO's ratification of the OpenURL standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004), many stakeholders in the information supply chain still have a limited understanding of how best to share data to maximize the value of OpenURL linking," says Peter McCracken, NISO co-chair of the KBART Working Group (Phase I). UKSG's co-chair (Phase I), Charlie Rapple of TBI Communications, adds, "It was important for us to get back to basics and provide step-by-step guidance to address some of the fundamental problems that were occurring. With their track records for practical leadership and their reach across the extended information community, UKSG and NISO have been ideal project sponsors."

Sarah Pearson, E-Resources & Serials Coordinator at the University of Birmingham, is taking on the role of UKSG co-chair for KBART's Phase II. "As a librarian who has struggled with poor quality, outdated holdings data and the frustration this causes our users, I'm pleased to see some really practical guidance being made available. I hope to see widespread adoption of KBART's recommendations as they will lead to more reliable access for users, increased traffic for publishers, easier data management for vendors and reduced administration for librarians."

The KBART Working Group will shortly embark on the project's Phase II, which will build on the foundation phase to address more complex data issues, including different types of content, emerging business models, and customized licensing. The UKSG Committee and the NISO Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee are in the final stages of approval.

For more information, to review the KBART Recommended Practice, or to find out how to get involved in future phases of KBART's work, please visit or

KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools) was set up following the 2007 publication of the UKSG research report "Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain." Central to the efficient operation of the OpenURL is the knowledge base, which consists of data supplied by content providers including publishers. The report found that a lack of awareness of the OpenURLs capabilities and requirements is impacting the quality and timeliness of data provided to populate knowledge bases, and thus undermining the potential of the sophisticated OpenURL technology. UKSG partnered with NISO to commission the KBART Working Group to develop guidelines for best practice and provide educational materials. The core NISO/UKSG Working Group consists of representatives from libraries, knowledge base developers, publishers, intermediaries and other content providers, and is supported by a monitoring group of interested parties. Its Phase I report (KBART Recommended Practice, NISO RP-9-2010) and guidelines have been widely reviewed and tested by a wider group of information supply chain stakeholders. For more information, visit or

About NISO
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: For more information please contact NISO at 301-654-2512 or via e-mail at

About UKSG
UKSG exists to connect the information community and encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication. It spans the wide range of interests and activities of the extended scholarly information community of librarians, publishers, intermediaries and technology vendors. In a dynamic environment, UKSG works to:

  • facilitate community integration, networking, discussion and exchange of ideas
  • improve members' knowledge of the scholarly information sector and support skills development
  • stimulate research and collaborative initiatives, encourage innovation and promote standards for good practice
  • disseminate news, information and publications, and raise awareness of services that support the scholarly information sector.

For more information, please visit the UKSG website,