Linked Data Wikibase Prototype

In late 2017, OCLC began partnering with a handful of libraries on a prototype to demonstrate the value of linked data for improving resource-description workflows in libraries. Working closely with colleagues in OCLC's Global Product Management and Global Technologies, the OCLC Research team launched a service built on the Wikibase platform to provide critical services:

A reconciliation service – to connect legacy bibliographic information to linked data entities

An editor service – to view, create and edit linked data descriptions and relationships

Creation of the ecosystem involved a two-step filtering process:

  1. Seeding the system with the Controlled Vocabulary identifiers that existed in the OCLC Research enhanced version of WorldCat
  2. Any WikiData Entity that contained any of those identified Controlled Vocabulary identifiers was pulled out and added to the prototype ecosystem

Now, OCLC is partnering with 16 academic, research, public, and national libraries to prototype the reconciliation service – to connect legacy bibliographic information to linked data entities; and an editor service – to view, create, and edit linked data descriptions and relationships. 

Wikibase

To accelerate the availability of a feature-rich user interface, an out-of-the-box Wikibase instance was implemented for search, display, and APIs. One of the goals was to have library partners give OCLC feedback on what works in this environment and what doesn’t before building and designing something from scratch. Initial reaction to the Wikibase feature set was very positive.

Current Partners

  • American University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Cleveland Public Library
  • Cornell University Library
  • Harvard University
  • Michigan State University
  • National Library of Medicine
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Smithsonian Library
  • Temple University
  • UC Davis Library
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Yale University

This great group of partners and OCLC have been working together to refine needs assessment for services. Partners are providing feedback by commenting about their use of the prototype systems, responding to engagement activities, and through partner meetings. This collaboration builds upon past efforts, such as the Person Lookup Pilot and the Metadata Refinery effort, to demonstrate the production value of linked data services. 

Partners are expected to test the system, give feedback, and attend regular partner feedback sessions set up by OCLC. Institutions interested in participating in this pilot should contact Andrew K. Pace, Executive Director, Technical Research, at pacea@oclc.org.

Methodology and Timeline

Partners are given access to a live prototype system. The features and functionality are fully documented and supported by a team of product managers, analysts, engineers, and architects. The goal of the project is to inform the Global Product Management roadmap for metadata applications and services.

November 2017: Project kickoff; Discuss partnership and services with Phase 1 Partners

December 2017: Gather use cases from Phase 1 Partners

January 2018: Reconcile strings to identifiers

February 2018: Launch entity editor

March 2018: Gather enhancements and provide SPARQL endpoint; add five to ten new library partners

April 2018: Discussions with libraries resulted in a total of 16 institutions participating in the project going forward

May 2018: Launch the experimental “Explorer” UI to view entities and their relationships to other items; launch the OpenRefine API; gather feedback on the creation of creative works and prioritization of enhancements from partners

Explorer view of Being and Time with multiple translations

June-July 2018: Implement top enhancements suggested by library partners

  1. Improve indexing 
  2. Use the Wikibase UI to search by a non-prototype identifier
  3. Include dates for disambiguation in autosuggest results
  4. Offer property-based constraints
  5. Provide gadget-based taxonomy navigation

August-September 2018: Explore additional top enhancements

  1. Provide a data import tool
  2. Include WorldCat data in the Explorer
  3. Offer an input form for descriptive data
  4. Batchload entities provided by partner libraries
  5. Document when reference sources are required for statements

Presentations

Prototyping a Linked Data Platform for Production Cataloging Workflows
Presentation (.pptx) | 13 April 2018
by Andrew K. Pace with Jason Kavari (Cornell University)
An OCLC linked data prototype using Wikibase, Wikidata, VIAF and WorldCat Works to experiment with non-MARC cataloging workflows
Presented at the CNI Spring 2018 Membership Meeting,San Diego, CA

 

Linked Data Reality Check
Presentation (.pptx) | 18 April 2018
by Andrew K. Pace
A linked data primer and overview of the OCLC Wikibase and Wikidata prototype
Presented at Computers in Libraries, Arlington VA

Prototyping a Linked Data Platform for Production Cataloging Workflows
Presentation (.pptx) | 2 May 2018
by Bruce Washburn co-presenting with Carl Stahmer (UC Davis)
An OCLC linked data prototype using Wikibase, Wikidata, VIAF and WorldCat Works to experiment with non-MARC cataloging workflows
Presented at LD4 Workshop 2018, 2 May 2018, Palo Alto, CA


Team Lead

Andrew K. Pace
Executive Director, Technical Research
For more information, email pacea@oclc.org.

Project Team

John Chapman

Eric Childress

Jean Godby

Melissa Hess

Marti Heyman

Tod Matola

Jeff Mixter

Sara Newell

Stephan Schindehette

Taylor Surface

Diane Vizine-Goetz

Bruce Washburn

Jeff Young