Diving into Metadata and Discovery Services

By: Diana Petrowicz, Tue Oct 20 2020
Diana Petrowicz

Author: Diana Petrowicz

Our Institutional Data Development team is responsible for enabling discovery of content and access to it, in order to support institutions, including librarians and researchers in gaining, providing, and disseminating knowledge. The team is developing data strategies, offering state-of-the-art data standards and services, implementing data delivery models, and standardizing processes with a special focus on user, customer, and business needs.

This is a summary of our webinar “Diving into Metadata and Discovery Services” where our guest speakers Bobbi Patham and Elif Eryilmaz-Sigwarth, both part of Springer Nature’s Data Development team, talk about latest developments.

Springer Nature works closely with four major Discovery Services:

  • ProQuest
  • ExLibris
  • OCLC

The discovery service providers are given complete metadata and full text of our journals and eBooks, including contemporary and archival content. Discovery services use this data for indexing and loading bibliographic information, thereby making our SN content more visible and discoverable. Springer Nature works closely with vendors to create clear targets, and to ensure the completeness and discoverability of our content.

Springer Nature provides downloadable title lists in KBART format for all of our packages. Additionally, we provide consortia and regional package title lists. We work closely with link resolver vendors to keep collection information up to date and to create clear targets. When a new consortium license and title list is created, link resolvers are updated. Lists can be sent to the link resolvers at any time, if necessary.

In October 2020, we introduced the new 'Flexible eBook Solutions', a new institutional eBook business model. This means that libraries can now select targets for the new Flexible eBook Solutions they have licensed via Discovery Services EBSCO EDS, ProQuest 360 KB, ExLibris Alma and OCLC WorldCat.

NISO-ODI and Springer Nature

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is one of the major organizations for industry standards in the publishing and librarian area, allowing industry partners to collaborate on mutually accepted standards. Bobbi is a member of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI), which works on technical recommendations for data exchange including data formats, delivery methods, usage reporting, update frequency, and rights of use.

NISO-ODI addresses many of the issues librarians have with discovery service indexes and knowledge base listing. The latest Open Discovery Initiative Recommended Practice (Promoting Transparency in Discovery) was published June 24, 2020.

Where can I get support? 

Below you can find a list of customer support information for discovery service vendors.

Latest updates on KBART

KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools) is a widely accepted recommended practice developed by NISO Working Group to set out the specific title-level metadata to be provided to knowledge bases, libraries, and other services. KBART information for Springer Nature content is available here.

We provide title-level metadata in KBART format for the Springer Nature portfolio which can be downloaded here and is updated monthly. Customer holdings are provided via the Librarian Portal where they are updated daily and via automated holdings API.

KBART customer holdings in our Librarian Portal

Customers can download their title lists from our Librarian Portal. Customer holdings on Librarian Portal include Springer books and journals as well as Nature journals. We have recently included Open Access and free-to-read books and journals to the Librarian Portal.

KBART Automated Holdings are an easy and automated way of retrieving customer holdings with one-time setup and frequent updated titles. Springer Nature provides a complete KBART list for institutions that purchase individually and in addition have entitlements via a consortia membership. API allows to automatically retrieve this KBART file per customer for Springer books and journals. We also create tokens for institutions which can be found on the Librarian Portal. SpringerLink KBART Automated Holdings Feeds are currently available for OCLC, Ex Libris' SFX

Contact for trouble shooting

MARC records

MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) records are a standard for representing and exchanging machine-readable data within and between libraries. They are used to catalogue metadata about information resources in an electronic library catalogue to make those resources discoverable and provide identification of library’s holdings. For our new Flexible eBook Solutions we are providing MARC Enhancements which are assigned to multiple eBook collections. MARC is available for all new models and can be downloaded through our Metadata Downloader for Books and Journals


JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) are a NISO standard XML format to publish or archive journal content. JATS XML contains elements and attributes to describe textual and graphical content of journal articles.

BITS (Book Interchange Tag Suite): XML model for books based on JATS Common format to exchange book content, including chapters.

JATS and BITS are Springer Nature’s standard delivery format (metadata and full-text content) for external customers.

Links & Resources

Find more information on our Discovery page and download our Discovery Guide which outlines how Springer Nature works with third party vendors, including Springer Nature and Palgrave Macmillan content.

Contacts at Springer Nature

Download the presentation from the webinar here and listen to the recording below.

Diana Petrowicz

Author: Diana Petrowicz

Diana Petrowicz is a Marketing Manager in the Sales Enablement team, based in the London office. Supporting the Sales and Account Development teams, she is enthusiastic about finding innovate ways to communicate with the library community and specialises in producing and writing case studies across the portfolio.