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KBART Glossary of relevant terms

The following terms have been identified as being of relevance to the NISO Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Recommendations.

Please note that the definitions are given in relation to the Recommendations document, and in some cases may not translate precisely to the definition that would be offered in a wider context.

A bibliographic service that provides online access to the digital full text of periodicals published by different publishers. Subscriptions are available by package, rather than title by title. Typically packages vary by the type of library (e.g., special, academic, public). See also: full text host 

Appropriate copy
The version, among many, that is most appropriate for a specific user in a specific situation at a given institution. This is likely to be a version of which they are entitled to access the full text, probably because of a subscription paid for by the library.

Article-level links 
A URL that takes a user directly to the correct article they seek, rather than to the publication, volume, or issue from which it comes. Not necessarily an OpenURL. An article-level link may take the user to an abstract, or to a version of the full text if it is available to them.

Athens authentication 
Federated access control used widely by higher/further education institutions in the UK to simplify online access for users (particularly remote users).

Consortium (plural: Consortia)
A collection of libraries that work together to purchase and provide access to resources; in some cases just a 'buying club,' in other cases a closely-integrated network of related libraries. Publishers also join together into consortia to offer cross-publisher content packages to libraries.

Content packages
Bundles of content which can be purchased more cheaply than separate licences to the individual components, such as those offered by single-publisher "big deals", aggregators or publisher consortia.

Content provider
A vendor -- generally a publisher, aggregator, or full text host -- who offers full-text content for sale or lease to libraries. In the KBART context, this specifically does not include those who provide abstracting and indexing services, or linking and e-resource management services.

Tailored to the current user's context, for example, amending or re-ordering the links offered to a user, based on the institution from which he is accessing.

"Counting Online Usage of NETworked Electronic Resources" - a code of practice for defining usage statistics of electronic resources, so that resources from different content providers can be compared with each other effectively. For more information, see

"Digital Object Identifier" - a system for uniquely defining a digital resource, be it a journal article, a book chapter, a paragraph, an image, or some other item. Content providers must be affiliated to a DOI registration agency, and must own the rights to the content, in order to assign DOIs. For more information, see

DOI resolution 
DOIs are held in a database alongside the metadata describing the object they identify, and a current URL for that object. DOIs can be resolved by appending them to the base URL This directs them to the central DOI database, which looks up the current URL associated with the object, and redirects the user's browser to that location.

A limitation on access to a resource, placed by the publisher on distributors of the publisher's data; usually to prevent the cancellation of individual subscriptions. Example: a publisher's own website provides current issues of their e-publications, but an aggregator's website only provides issues older than one year.

The use of number, volume, and issue descriptors to identify a specific journal issue, as opposed to the use of chronological descriptors.

"Electronic Resource Management" - a broad term for a collection of commercially-available tools to help libraries manage their electronic resources.

Federated search 
Technology that allows searching of multiple databases at essentially the same time, and renders multiple result sets within a single interface.

Free content 
Full text content that can be accessed by any individual with internet access. The individual may need to register in some way to access the content, but does not need to pay for the content or access to the content.

Full text host 
A vendor who is contracted by the publisher to host full text of publications in a single, searchable database, to which access is enabled by subscriptions to individual publications, or article document delivery, rather than a licence to the entire database or parts thereof. A full text host also differs from an aggregator in that it will usually be the publisher’s “primary” host, and will not be subject to an embargo

A site which channels users to full text without hosting that full text, for example, a subscription agent's website that authenticates the user and directs them to the full text at a publisher's website.

"Integrated Library System" - a collection of integrated tools for managing all the different parts of a library's collection management system

Inbound linking (syntax) 
Links into a website from other online resources. A content provider is enabling inbound linking if they publish page URLs or a syntax enabling others to predict a page's URL.

Indexes, abstracts, and full text content 
Indexes contain article title, authors and bibliographic info (journal title, volume, issue, year, page number) for journal content. An "abstracting and indexing" (A&I) database contains this information along with each article's abstract. Full text content is the entire text of the article, and is typically only available from the publisher or other licensed content providers/aggregators.

Knowledge base 
A database that shows the resources a library can access electronically, or that it owns in print.

Link resolver
A software tool that connects a description of an article (the source) with the full text of the article in question (the target).  

Link-to syntax 
The formula by which links to specific pages within a website can be constructed, usually consisting of a base URL and a string of metadata/identifiers.

The process of configuring a knowledge base to represent a specific institution's holdings.

"Data about data"; information that describes content. For an article, this might be its title, the names of its authors, the title of the journal from which it is taken, the volume, issue and article or page numbers.

"Online Public Access Catalog" - the public interface for a library's catalogue; just one part of the integrated library system.

Open Access 
Business model by which full text content is free at the point of access i.e., users do not need to pay for a subscription or other licence to view full text.

Syntax for transporting information about a target article from the source website to the link resolver.

Shibboleth authentication 
Federated access management system, not yet widely used but likely to flourish as a result of industry endorsements.

Article or website that is the starting point for a user, that cites another article or website, and that can create and send OpenURLs to link to the cited article or website.

Subscribed content 
Content which the current user is licensed to access.

Subscription agent 
Company that is contracted by publishers to sell subscriptions (or other types of access license) to libraries, consortia and other institutions.

Article or website that is the end requirement for a user, that has been cited by another article or website, and that can receive inbound links from a link resolver.

Title-level links
A URL that takes a user directly to the publication he seeks, rather than to a specific volume, issue or article within it. Not necessarily an OpenURL.