About Knowledge for All
Knowledge for All is an open access citation database of all published scholarly journal literature that will provide the public with access to scholarly research and will provide libraries with a customizable open source search tool. It will build community around open access to information by engaging the international library community in collaborative content creation and shared management of the project.
Libraries are finding it increasingly difficult to provide users with sufficient electronic access to scholarly journal literature due to continuing exorbitant increases in subscription costs. Fortunately, current and evolving technology provides the opportunity to create alternative and open modes of access and decrease reliance on expensive commercial products.
Collaborative knowledge access projects such as the open access publishing movement and Wikipedia demonstrate the viability of building an open access collaborative alternative to citation-only databases like the Web of Science. We propose to utilize open source software tools and engage the international academic library community to collectively create a robust, online, open access citation index for searching all past and current scholarly journal literature. Now is the time to leverage the strength of the crowd for the benefit of all.
- Libraries will gain control over their content and decrease reliance on expensive proprietary products.
- Researchers can access all available literature and be certain it is the most current and comprehensive.
- Users can search all scholarly journal literature with a single tool.
- Developers can create new ways of accessing and repurposing the world’s academic literature, via an open and accessible data/software framework.
- Institutions will save thousands of dollars on database subscriptions, which can be reallocated to collections and services.
- Information will be freely accessible to all instead of restricted to those affiliated with institutions that can afford subscriptions.
- Multifaceted searching and browsing
- Citation analysis
- Ability to annotate and share articles
- Links to authority records
- Links to full text articles
- Subject indexing using standardized controlled vocabularies
- Ability to limit search to a specific subject area
- Open source framework will allow institutions to customize features and interface to meet the needs of their users and share developments back with the community
Collaborative Content Creation
Journal article metadata will be downloaded automatically from free data sources, while librarians and others with appropriate expertise will do original subject indexing and edit metadata as needed. We envision a collaborative model of participation in which each participating institution will be responsible for indexing a number of journal titles on an ongoing basis. Institutions will also provide and share quality control of content. If this work is shared among 1000 institutions, each will be responsible for indexing 44 journals. Shared amont 3000 institutions, each will be responsible for indexing only 15 journals. This is based on estimates of 43,500 scholarly journals published per year and an average of 100 articles published per journal annually. Collaborative content creation will utilize the vast expertise of the library community and minimize project costs, thereby making it more sustainable.
Staff and Governance
Knowledge for All will have minimal staffing needs and a sustainable business model because the bulk of the work will be done by its large virtual community of users, who will contribute content and continuously develop and improve the software. The project will be coordinated by a small staff consisting of a Project Manager, Systems Administrator, Content Manager, and Community Liaison Coordinator. Additional software developers will be needed during the System Development Phase. The Project Manager will report to a Steering Committee composed of representatives from participating institutions, to ensure that Knowledge for All continues to meet the needs of its users.
Knowledge for All is a not-for-profit project that will provide free access to its tools and content. We propose a funding model in which institutions who wish to contribute will share development and operational costs through single contributions, annual membership fees, or in-kind resource contributions. For example, 200 institutions/organizations could fund 1 year of development by contributing $5,000 each. Others could contribute by providing indexing expertise, software development, or IT infrastructure. Thus, the system will be a gift of the international library community to benefit the world. In turn, libraries will collectively save hundreds of millions of dollars on database subscription fees.
We will also explore ways to acquire necessary resources through forming partnerships with participating institutions and other projects with similar objectives. The University of Prince Edward Island's Robertson Library will act as the host institution and provide initial IT infrastructure while a long-term business model for a sustainable IT foundation is developed, suitable for the project's size and scope.
1-Year Planning and Development Phase - beginning January 2011 with initial funding from the Council of Atlantic University Libraries
A Project Manager will research and develop a business plan that details how all aspects of the project will operate. A Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising Coordinator to secure participation and funding from institutions, in order to proceed to Phase 2.
Estimated resources needed: $75,000
2-Year Product Development Phase
A Project Manager, Content Manager, Community Development Coordinator, and team of software developers will develop the citation database and related technological infrastructure, coordinate the community, and generate initial content.
Estimated resources needed: $1,000,000 for 2 years, or $500,000 per year
Implementation and ongoing operations
Estimated resources needed: $300,000 per year