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A Wiki is a simple online database that enables documents to be written collectively in a simple markup using a web browser.

This project (originally called MetaWiki) leverages open standards, open source software, and existing resources to extend the Wiki model to support the creation and maintenance of structured data. This provides powerful and flexible infrastructure for building new services.

Possible uses for the OCLC WikiD infrastructure include the distributed maintenance of registries, and supporting capture of user contributions such as reviews and table of contents to associate with OpenWorldCat entries.

Research goals

  • Leverage open-source and standards-based tools developed by OCLC Research to produce a general-purpose data repository management system.
  • Use this system to support various prototyping activities including enhancing Open WorldCat content.

Extending Wiki's utility

Traditional Wiki supports: WikiD supports:
  • markup
    • wikitext
  • markup
    • wikitext
    • structured data (e.g., MARC, METS, DC...)
  • page editing
    • a single text block
  • page editing
    • a single text block
    • field level
  • searches
    • full text
  • searches
    • full text
    • fielded
  • collections
    • one per wiki
  • collections
    • one/ multiple per WikiD

WikiD Components

Apache Jakarta Tomcat

  • Functions as a servlet container (the component of a web server that hosts and interacts with Java servlets
  • Acts as a lightweight request & process traffic cop

OCLC WebEdit

  • Open source Web service transforms HTML form data submittals into XML docs
  • Forwards XML docs to the designated Update service
  • Abstracted using Tomcat Realms
  • Under development


  • Open source OAI-PMH v2.0 data provider implementation
  • Provides OAI access to WikiD collections
OCLC Pears
  • Open source database software ideal for storing hierarchically structured data (e.g., XML, bib. records)


  • Open source XSLT processor Web service
  • Performs XSL Transforms as a Web Service

OCLC Search and Retrieve Web Service (SRW)

  • Open source Web services-based protocol for querying databases and returning search results

OpenURL 1.0

  • Open source, Web services-based protocol for invoking context-sensitive services

OCLC Update

  • Open source Web service-based protocol to allow clients to update data in a remote database (includes version control)

External registries

  • UIUC's OAI Repository Registry
  • "info" URI Registry
  • OpenURL Specifications Registry

Why is OCLC conducting this research and how does it help libraries?

The WikiD project features innovative integration of fielded data collections and Wiki features by leveraging

  • open standards
  • open source software
  • existing resources/components already in use by OCLC Research.

It also builds on expertise, software, and standards activities of OCLC Research and provides

  • an opportunity to simplify the way libraries and others manage data collections, and
  • a platform for collaborative management of data collections, particularly registries.

This pilot provides a way for the OCLC collective to collaborate in enhancing Open WorldCat content.

  • Use cases:
    • Promising mode for distributed maintenance of registries/service descriptions:
      • Relatively simple editing mode for descriptive (wikitext) and fielded data
      • Reusable profiles, controlled vocabularies support
      • Failsafe features minimize errors/malice
        • Authentication, document versioning, automatic interaction/data harvesting with registered targets
    • Other use cases evolving (community input invited)

Related resources

  • Young, Jeffrey A. 2005. " WikiD (Wiki/Data)" (PowerPoint:397K/30slides) DLF Fall Forum, 8 November 2005, Charlottesville, Virginia (USA)
  • Young, Jeffrey A. 2005. " WikiD (Wiki/Data)" (PowerPoint:379K/25 slides). Presented by Stu Weibel at OAI 4, 20 October 2005, CERN, Genève (Switzerland)

Team members