Knowledge for All (K4All) is an open access citation database of all published scholarly journal literature that is being developed by the University of Prince Edward Island with the support of the Council of Atlantic University Libraries and the global library community. It will provide researchers with a single tool to search across all disciplines and the general public with free access to searchable scholarly citations. Thousands of libraries around the world will share project costs and content creation, save thousands of dollars on commercial database subscriptions, and gain control over their content and technology.
Development of the K4All project has proceeded quickly since the idea sparked in the spring of 2010. A brief initial proposal was developed which summarized the project and estimated resources needed to proceed. This proposal was circulated to members of the library and academic communities, assisted by media coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Toronto Star, and CBC News. The project immediately received a flurry of support from librarians, researchers, software developers, and other interested individuals and organizations in Canada, the United States, and around the world, eager to provide assistance and encouragement. A K4All website was developed in September 2010 and will be officially launched in early 2011. Created with the flexible and extensible Drupal content management system, the website currently provides information about the project, a discussion forum, a collection of resources, and a "Get Involved" webform. K4All has been federally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in Canada. A basic governance structure has been conceived and an initial Board of Directors has been appointed. The Council of Atlantic University Libraries has been actively involved in K4All since its inception and has now provided funding for the next phase of the project.
With a project as ambitious and complex as K4All, it is important to invest time in planning. The Planning and Development Phase of the K4All project will cover a period of one year beginning February 2011 and include the following components:
Component 1: Planning
Period: February - July 2011
Objective: Gather information and do planning and strategizing necessary for community development and fundraising, development of the K4All citation database and related technology, and project operations. It will focus on planning in the following areas:
Component 2: Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising
Period: August 2011 - January 2012
Objective: Recruit sufficient contributors in all pertinent roles and obtain all necessary resources to proceed with future development and operations of K4All.
Component 3: System Development
Period: August 2011 - January 2012
Objective: Develop an alpha version of the K4All citation database and related technological infrastructure.
The Planning and Development Phase Work Plan also details duties pertaining to ongoing operations of the K4All project throughout this period, resources required for this phase, and reporting and communication guidelines.
The Planning component will last approximately 6 months, from February to July 2011. It will consist of research and planning for all major areas of the K4All project, including content, contributors and workflows, technology, community development, and finances.
All activities in the Planning component will be carried out by a half-time Project Manager.
Research results produced during the Planning component will be published on the K4All website. For a period of time, they will be accessible by project staff and funders only, during which time these individuals will be invited to contribute feedback. Later the results will be made available to the K4All community and general public for further feedback.
Content for the K4All citation database will be generated using a combination of automated and human processes. We will need to determine what data is needed, define metadata standards, identify and analyze sources of harvestable metadata and thesauri for subject indexing, identify and analyze metadata extraction and editing tools, and outline processes for content generation.
K4All will be a large and complex project that depends on the work of different kinds of contributors with varying relationships to the project and working different amounts of time in many different locations. Therefore, it is imperative that we create an optimal structure that will facilitate information and work flows, effective collaborative decision-making, and communication over distances. Technological tools to assist in these processes will be utilized whenever possible.
A tentative governance and membership structure was proposed in the K4All application for incorporation as a not-for-profit organization, but it needs to be further developed. It was proposed that K4All will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a chair, a secretary, a treasurer, chairs of committees, up to four representatives from member organizations, and up to four representatives from individual members. There will also be up to six committees responsible for overseeing major aspects of operations. In this phase we will:
A central component of the K4All project will be an online database of citations for all published scholarly journal literature. Other technological processes and tools will be utilized to generate content for the system, and manage contributors and workflows.
As a grassroots, collaborative project, the success of K4All will depend on effective fundraising and recruitment of volunteer contributors. A comprehensive marketing and fundraising strategy is essential to meeting these objectives.
This step in the planning process will focus on financial planning for proceeding stages of development and ongoing operations of K4All.
Because K4All will be a collaborative project that depends on the support and work of thousands of institutions and individuals, it will be necessary to have a community of supporters and contributors in place by the end of the Planning and Development Phase. Following the 6-month Planning component, and concurrent with System Development, the 6-month Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising component will focus on marketing, fundraising and developing the K4All community of contributors with the goal of obtaining all necessary resources to proceed to the next stage of the K4All project, as well as additional resources needed for System Development. A part-time Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising Coordinator will be responsible for this component.
Using the technology plan produced during the Planning component, an alpha version of the citation database and related technological infrastructure will be developed. In addition, the international community of software developers interested in contributing to the K4All project will need to be developed and coordinated. This phase will be coordinated by a System Development Coordinator, with assistance from additional developers as needed.
Although planning the K4All project is officially only about to begin, operations are already underway and some resources will need to be dedicated to maintaining operations and administration during the Planning and Development Phase. These tasks will be the responsibility of the Project Manager.
The K4All website will be the project's primary tool for promotion and communication. While focused development of the website as a promotion and communication tool will be undertaken during the Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising component, some ongoing development and maintenance of the website will be required throughout the Planning and Development Phase.
It will be important to maintain regular communication with the existing community of K4All supporters in order to maintain their interest and keep them informed of project developments.
A Board of Directors and Committees will play an important advisory role during the Planning and Development Phase and they will be appointed as needed throughout the first year. As part of ongoing operations, the Project Manager will:
Responsibilities: Carry out all activities in the Planning Phase and related to ongoing operations and administration except where otherwise noted. Coordinate and supervise the Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising and System Development components.
Hours: 20 hours per week from February to July, 2011; 10 hours per week from August 2011 to January 2012
Length of contract: 52 weeks
Rate of pay: $30.00 per hour
Total resources needed: $23,400
Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising Coordinator
Responsibilities: Carry out all activities in the Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising component.
Hours: 15 hours per week from August 2011 to January 2012
Length of contract: 26 weeks
Rate of pay: $25.00 per hour
Total resources needed: $9,750
System Development Coordinator
Responsibilities: Coordinate development of an alpha version of the K4All citation database and related technological infrastructure.
Hours: 35 hours per week from August 2011 to January 2012
Length of contract: 26 weeks
Rate of pay: $30.00 - $40.00 per hour
Total resources needed: $27,300 - $36,400
Additional individuals may be hired under contract to carry out specific tasks as needed. These could include graphic designers, bookkeepers, and software developers.
Additional expenses will include office expenses, legal fees, advertising and marketing expenses, conference fees, membership fees, computer hardware and software expenses, travel expenses, and communication expenses.
It is likely that additional revenue will be needed to fund the System Development component of this phase. This will be obtained through fundraising activities, particularly during the Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising component of this phase.
The Planning and Development Phase will be overseen by Knowledge for All's Founding Director Mark Leggott, the University Librarian at University of Prince Edward Island's Robertson Library. The Project Manager will report on ongoing activities to the Founding Director via regular e-mail communication, weekly Skype meetings, and occasional in-person person meetings. The Project Manager will submit a monthly financial report detailing revenue and expenses to the Founding Director.
The Founding Director, a member of the Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL), will provide regular updates to CAUL and facilitate communication between CAUL and K4All.
The Community Development, Marketing, and Fundraising Coordinator, the System Development Coordinator, and other contractors will report to the Project Manager.
Structures of reporting and communication may alter once project governance has been established and members have been appointed to the Board of Directors and Committees. It is expected that during the Planning and Development Phase, these members will play an important advisory role.