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 “As a librarian who has struggled with poor quality, outdated holdings data and the frustration this causes our users, I’m pleased to see some really practical guidance being made available.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