Message from Lorcan Dempsey
As interest and experience with linked data grows, OCLC Research has made it a focus of activity.
VIAF is now one of the most heavily used linked data resources in the library community. We have over 20 million page views a month and it is linked to by a growing number of other services. We are very pleased to see it used in this way. Recently we agreed with the partner national libraries that ongoing responsibility for VIAF would transition to OCLC. At the same time, we transitioned VIAF out of Research to production here at OCLC. Of course, we remain closely involved in the processing of the data and in further development of the service.
VIAF is interesting, because it is an example of an important way in which the library community can participate in the linked data world. It represents significant accumulated intellectual investment in structured data, and it is now being made available in a way that other communities, as well as the library community, can benefit. Much of the library linked data discussion has been about making local data available in different ways. As interesting is the discussion about what key resources libraries will want to link to, and what library resources other communities will link to. Linked data, after all, is about the power of the links between resources. We hope that VIAF becomes a major reference point on the web.
We have also made FAST available as linked data. For more background on FAST and its relationship to LCSH see the activity pages.
I discussed these issues a little while ago in a blog entry, linking not typing.
At the same time, Research has been doing some of the modeling that is required to represent bibliographic data in this way. We have also been looking at schema.org and considering what is required to make it more applicable in our environment. Schema.org is an initiative of Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex to provide a framework for including structured data markup in web pages. In this way, the search companies can exploit that data. We will be sharing more information about this work soon.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge all the work that my colleague Jim Michalko has been doing to develop an agreed licensing framework for Worldcat-derived data. As data becomes more a part of the web it is important that it is associated with a public license. OCLC Global Council recently endorsed the Open Data Commons Attribution license and we have been working with a variety of partners on implementation details.
Regards, Lorcan Dempsey
Dempsey is Vice President, OCLC Research, and Chief Strategist
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complete list of OCLC Research publications is available online at: