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 three critical services:

Reconciler – to connect legacy bibliographic information with linked data entities

Minter – to create and edit new linked data entities

Relator – to view, create, and edit relationships between entities

Partner libraries provided feedback about the services, indicating that the Minter and Relator services could ultimately be represented as one service, an Editor. The services offered rest upon an ecosystem of entities.


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



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.

Pilot Partners

Cornell University Library

Montana State Library

UC Davis Library

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

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



Team Lead

Andrew K. Pace
Executive Director, Technical Research
For more information, email

Project Team

John Chapman

Jean Godby

Melissa Hess

Marti Heyman

Tod Matola

Jeff Mixter

Sara Newell

Stephan Schindehette

Taylor Surface

Diane Vizine-Goetz

Bruce Washburn

Jeff Young