OCLC and linked data
Resource discoverability through connections
Research habits have changed. It’s no longer enough for libraries to simply maintain information resources for users to access. They now have to make the information visible to seekers where they begin their research. WorldCat provides libraries with an opportunity to display their holdings on websites beyond library catalogs in a format that search engines, citation management systems, campus platforms, research portals, and other information websites can read and repurpose.
“OCLC is well placed...”
“As a major data hub, OCLC is well placed to develop linked data services for the library community.”
Chew Chiat Naun
Head of Metadata Creation
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Creating library linked data with Wikibase
OCLC's ten-month Project Passage pilot let librarians from 16 US institutions create linked data describing library and archival resources in a Wikibase sandbox. The librarians worked with OCLC on a framework for reconciling, evaluating, and managing traditional metadata as linked data entities and relationships. This opportunity revealed the potential of linked data in library catalogs as well as the gaps to address before fully adopting machine-readable semantic data can be fully adopted.
“[We are] re-envisioning the very fabric of the Bibliographic Universe. Linked data, as a monumental development with implications for the future of library resource discoverability, has a lot riding on it. We know it. OCLC knows it. Your library vendors know it.”
kalan Knudson Davis
Special Collections Metadata Librarian
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Connecting people with unique digital resources
Our OCLC Research report Transforming metadata into linked data to improve digital collection discoverability shares findings from our CONTENTdm linked data pilot project. We partnered with institutions that manage their digital collections with OCLC’s CONTENTdm service to investigate methods for—and the feasibility of—transforming metadata into linked data to improve the discoverability and management of digitized cultural materials and their descriptions. The OCLC Research webinar, "On the way to library linked data," offers further thoughts on this work.
Improving the interoperability of digital materials
As a founding member of IIIF (the International Image Interoperability Framework), OCLC is leading the effort to create new standards for sharing structural metadata about digital images, audio, and video with the library community.
Linked data as a cooperative effort
OCLC works closely with other organizations, such as the Library of Congress, to ensure that library data are included on the web. We believe that linked data representations will eventually replace MARC. By cooperating with other data standards groups and making WorldCat data available to them, we both enhance the value of WorldCat and ensure that libraries have a voice in the future of information management.
OCLC remains committed to working with the Library of Congress and the library community to help finalize the BIBFRAME standard, an evolving model to share and connect bibliographic data. As multiple variants continue to evolve, we will continue to evaluate BIBFRAME data to help inform our linked data planning activities with a goal to allow all OCLC members to continue to register their collections in WorldCat.
Program for Cooperative Cataloging
OCLC is actively engaged with libraries within the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) to explore standards, policies, and best practices as library metadata transitions from MARC to linked data. OCLC participates in several committees and tasks forces including the Standard Committee on Standards, the Standard Committee on Training, and the Linked Data Advisory Group.
Upcoming & on-demand events
03 June 2022
This virtual community event provides an opportunity to hear about important work by community members and learn about OCLC cataloging and metadata services.
29 October 2021
Learn about how libraries are building and stewarding digital content for their communities during this CONTENTdm community special event.
In this February 2021 presentation at the International Conference for Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem, OCLC’s John Chapman discussed the reasoning behind our shared entity management infrastructure initiative, our progress to date and...