Feasibility of an Open Knowledge Base

Commissioned by the VSNU, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, and the Dutch Taskforce on Responsible Management of Research Information and Data (click here for more information about the taskforce) we have investigated the feasibility of a so-called Open Knowledge Base (OKB).

The metadata on scholarly communications such as publications, datasets, software, educational material and communications aimed at the public, presents critical information on publicly funded scholarship that should be available without any restrictions. This metadata should therefore be easily findable, accessible and interoperable and reusable, where other users or service providers can create compelling use cases without barriers.

Our study identified two core values of an OKB. First, to protect academic independence by opening up the metadata and metrics underlying assessments of scholarship and becoming less dependent on private enterprises for providing data and software. Second, to improve and enhance the quality and coverage of metadata available in the Dutch landscape of infrastructures on scholarly communications.

We conclude that an OKB is both feasible and desirable. An important opportunity that we have identified for an OKB is that a feedback loop between institutional CRISs and the OKB may be established. Through such a feedback loop, metadata coverage and quality are improved in the OKB by integrating, harmonising and enriching metadata from multiple sources including participating CRISs, open infrastructures (e.g., CrossRef, Orcid, ROR) and research intelligence services. These improvements and enrichments are fed back into institutional CRISs to improve metadata and subsequently overviews and reports at the local institutional level.

The report has been published by VSNU and can be consulted here.

Do you want to know more about this feasibility study? Please contact Max Kemman.