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Impressions and Challenges Among Europe’s Research Libraries on Linked Open Data

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The Linked Open Data Working Group of LIBER seeks to create a picture of the current state of Linked Open Data (LOD) in European research libraries and to provide insights that will assist research libraries in developing their LOD operations.

The committee just concluded a study of research libraries’ data linking, and openness practises. The survey looked at processes for making data semantically interoperable, and the review was based on that.

Challenges and opportunities were discussed from both a technical and a librarian’s perspective. The results of the LOD Working Group’s survey have now been released.

Important Points to Remember

  • Many libraries already employ LOD in their processes, according to the results of the survey. The following are some of the points that were highlighted:
  • The character and breadth of linked data projects vary greatly. At the same time, there are certain circumstances where fewer different methods would have been appropriate.
  • Human labor is the most significant cost associated with publishing connected data. As a result, providing information in the form of training and how-to manuals is critical.
  • There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tool. Along with locally designed procedures, a wide range of tools — commercial, open-source, and specialised — are used.
  • GeoNames, VIAF, ISNI, Wikidata, and Dublin Core are the most widely used vocabularies. Wikidata was the most frequently referenced external resource in the projects.
  • SKOS and Schema.org are the most often used data schemas, with mentions of the Europeana Data Model and BIBFRAME thrown in for good measure.
  • Libraries are eager to collaborate and share information. This is consistent with the character of LOD, which requires acting and thinking globally even when doing things on a local scale; yet, the networks that enable this are presently sparse.

Steps to Follow

The results of the survey will be compared to those of other studies. The Working Group will compile best practices and provide a baseline workflow to guide institutions through the various stages of a LOD project based on this information. Case studies demonstrating how individual initiatives dealt with LOD and how that data was used will be included in the group’s efforts. Another area that the panel will look into further is semantic interoperability.

By the summer of 2020, the group hopes to have completed the second phase of their work. Please email Matias Frosterus, Chair of the Working Group, if you would like to be involved, be included in a case study, or contribute in any other way.

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