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OCLC releases FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) as Linked Data

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 14 December 2011—FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology), an enumerative, faceted subject heading schema derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), is now available as an experimental Linked Data service (http://id.worldcat.org/fast/) and is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License.

The FAST authority file, which underlies the FAST Linked Data release, has been created through a multi-year collaboration of OCLC Research and the Library of Congress. Specifically, it is designed to make the rich LCSH vocabulary available as a post-coordinate system in a Web environment.

"Linked Data" is an approach to publishing data on the Web which enhances its utility by making references to persons, places, things, etc. more consistent and linkable across domains.

The release of FAST as Linked Data provides FAST headings that support both human and machine access. FAST incorporates links to corresponding LCSH authorities. In addition, many of the geographic headings have links to the GeoNames geographic database (http://www.geonames.org/).

"The response to VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) as Linked Data has been very positive," said Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research, and OCLC Chief Strategist. "We are now pleased to be making this very extensive resource available in this way."

With the addition of FAST, the universe of library-oriented controlled vocabularies available as Linked Data is notably expanded. OCLC has previously released Dewey.info, an experimental space for linked Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) data, and also made available as Linked Data the VIAF (http://viaf.org/), a joint project that explores combining the name authority files of participating institutions into a single name authority service. Furthermore, the Library of Congress (see for example, http://id.loc.gov/) and several other custodians of important controlled vocabularies have released Linked Data versions of their schemes.

This release of FAST is the latest in a series of activities by OCLC to make FAST more accessible and useful. OCLC Research released mapFAST (http://experimental.worldcat.org/mapfast/), a map-oriented interface that leverages FAST to present library resources based on the geographic focus of the content of material and made available the FAST Converter (http://experimental.worldcat.org/fast/fastconverter/), a demonstration LCSH-to-FAST conversion tool. Most recently, OCLC Research has updated its web search interface to FAST (http://fast.oclc.org/searchfast/).

More information about FAST Linked Data is at http://id.worldcat.org/fast/. A sample record can be found at http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1112076. See the FAST activity page.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.

OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information environment. It works with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and share findings through publications, presentations and professional interactions. For more, visit www.oclc.org/research.

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  • Bob Murphy

    Bob Murphy

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