By Yvette Diven, Product Manager Lead, Data Services
First in the “What’s this I hear about a new knowledgebase?” blog series, this piece highlights why ProQuest is moving forward to develop a new knowledgebase to be leveraged in discovery and management solutions used by libraries.
It’s no surprise to those who have been working in or with libraries since the year 2000 that library collections have been on an accelerated pace to move from print format to electronic resources. During this same time, libraries’ reliance on and adoption of e-resource management and discovery solutions has grown. As these new products and services have become more sophisticated and complex, so too has the mix of e-resources that make up library collections. Amid this change, growth, and complexity there has been one constant – the need for reliable, enriched and curated resource metadata.
At ProQuest, our knowledgebase of e-resource metadata had its roots in 2001, in a service that supplied print A-to-Z title lists to libraries (through Serials Solutions). Ever since those early days, ProQuest has gathered, improved, enhanced and updated e-resource metadata for full-text linking, database subscription tracking, and other functions – and maintained it centrally, on behalf of our libraries. Today, our knowledgebase is an excellent source of “resource knowledge” and benefits researchers and librarians alike, through our discovery and management solutions. As our customers, you’ve come to rely on our knowledgebase to help you describe and provide access to the tens and thousands of e-resources to which your library’s users have access.
Why, then, is ProQuest developing a new knowledgebase?
We’ve recognized that your library collections have become more diverse and, in many ways, more complex. We have listened when you’ve told us that you need more global coverage, new types of metadata, and more services that let you share resource knowledge in order to meet the challenges associated with evolving collections. The result is a new, more comprehensive ProQuest knowledgebase designed around four key areas: scope, scale, systems, and services.
We’re stocking our new knowledgebase with bibliographic information, qualitative measures, and information about the publishers and providers who create and offer electronic, print, and microform resources around the world. Expanding the scope of our knowledgebase allows us to integrate our foundational e-resource coverage of full-text journals and ebooks in aggregations and with unique ProQuest assets including our Ulrich’s™ global serials data, publisher and provider profiles, millions of authoritative MARC records, and metadata for new content types such as the streaming and digital content that you need to be able to describe, manage, and access. A new, relational data model gives the knowledgebase increased flexibility and allows it to scale to accommodate this expanding breadth and depth of resource metadata.
In order to support the new knowledgebase, we have built – and continue to develop – new systems that are faster and even more efficient at updating and delivering high-quality metadata to our products. We have built – and continue to expand – Application Programming Interfaces (or APIs) and services that enable metadata and systems interoperability.
We believe that the library industry, libraries, librarians, and researchers need this kind of in-depth knowledgebase. We also believe that ProQuest is uniquely positioned to deliver on this promise with its unique set of assets and solutions.
The next blog post in our series will take a look in more detail about what this means for you and for our services.