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Creating a shared entity management infrastructure

Today, many libraries are experimenting with creating linked data.  As they have been advancing the state of the art with interface design, there continues to be a gap in the data infrastructure to support their needs.  

On January 9th, OCLC announced that we were awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to jointly fund the development of a shared entity management infrastructure over the next two years.  

This infrastructure will aggregate links to other representations of works and persons in external vocabularies and authority files.  Once it's completed, this will provide a solid foundation for libraries, cultural heritage organizations and scholarly communications communities to improve:

  • MARC record quality and accuracy with increased connections (context) between their materials and other relevant collections
  • consistency and efficiency of metadata workflows across collections and material types
  • discoverability of and connections between library materials on the web

The Mellon Foundation chose OCLC for this important work because of our:

  • ability to work at a global scale
  • organizational stability to provide a long-term home for linked data entities
  • experience with linked data models
  • willingness to collaborate with other Mellon projects
  • cooperative / shared cataloging model
  • 50-year history of supporting library collaboration

In 2020, we are focusing on data that OCLC already has, including authority data, bibliographic data, and other vocabularies that we maintain, along with simple search, reading, creation and editing tools. In 2021, we will look to add more data sources as we build out advanced search and UI features in preparation for a public release.  

The features and functionality that we create will be primarily API-based, but we will also be providing a basic UI (user interface) which we will be testing with library partners in 6-month increments while working with the library community to make sure this infrastructure meets their needs for performance, data quality and scope.

If you have linked data questions or would like to join our advisory group to provide feedback, test APIs and help with workflow creation, please let us know by visiting our shared entity management infrastructure web page.