Linked Data

Linked Data is about communities agreeing on the meaning of their data and sharing it in a massively networked information space. This vision is taking shape in many sectors, including e-commerce, medicine, scientific research, and government services. OCLC Research is a leader in driving this transformation in the library community.

International Linked Data Survey

The impetus for an “International Linked Data Survey for Implementers” were discussions among OCLC Research Library Partner metadata managers who were aware of many linked data projects or services but felt there must be more “out there.” In consultation with a number of colleagues, and after beta testing with a group of linked data implementers with the survey instrument, we conducted an initial survey in 2014. To address gaps in the respondents, we repeated the survey in 2015. Curious about what might have changed after three years had passed, we repeated the survey in 2018.

A total of 143 institutions in 23 countries reported one or more linked data project or service, either ones publishing linked data, consuming linked data, or both in the three surveys conducted.  

All responses to the three surveys (without contact information) are shared for the benefit of others wanting to undertake similar efforts in this Excel workbook.

Download Survey Results .xlsx



Linked Data Survey, Part 3 (2018)

We were curious about what might have changed since the last survey conducted in 2015 (see below). Between 17 April and 25 May 2018 we launched the "2018 International Linked Data Survey for Implementers" with the desire to learn details about new linked data projects or services implemented in the interim.  

Eighty-one institutions responded to the 2018 survey describing 104 linked data projects or services, compared to 71 responding institutions describing 112 linked data implementations in 2015. Of the 104 linked data implementations, only 42 had been described previously. 75% of the implementations described in 2018 are in production, and 40% of them have been in production for more than four years.

2018 results reported in:

Analysis of 2018 International Linked Data Survey for Implementers
Journal Article  |  November 2018
By Karen Smith-Yoshimura
This journal article sumarizes and analyzes the results of the International Linked Data Survey for Implementers.
Published in Code4Lib Journal.

What’s Changed in Linked Data Implementations in the Last Three Years?
Presentation  |  16 October 2018
The presentation summarizes the results of the 2018 survey and compares them to the results of the 2015 survey.
Presented at the DLF (Digital Library Federation) Forum, 16 October 2018. Henderson, Nevada (USA).

Highlights were reported by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in the following Hanging Together blog posts:

Linked Data Survey, Part 2 (2015) 

While the 2014 survey results received a generally appreciative response from readers, some noted and regretted the absence of several prominent linked data efforts in Europe. To address these gaps, we repeated the survey between 1 June and 31 July 2015, encouraging the linked data implementers who had not responded to the previous survey to respond to the 2015 survey. We also sent the survey to the 2014 survey respondents, as we were curious if anything had changed during the year.

Seventy-one institutions responded to the 2015 survey, compared to 48 in 2014. More national libraries also responded, 14 in 2015 compared to just 4 in 2014. The respondents reported they were implementing or had implemented a total of 168 lined data projects or services, of which 112 were described.

2015 results reported in:

Analysis of International Linked Data Survey for Implementers
Paper  |  July/August 2016
By Karen Smith-Yoshimura
This article provides an overview of the linked data projects or services institutions or organizations have implemented or are implementing, what data they publish and consume, the reasons respondents give for implementing linked data and the barriers encountered. Relatively small projects are emerging and provide a window into future opportunities.
Published in DLIB Magazine. July/August 2016. doi:10.1045/july2016-smith-yoshimura.

Linked Data Implementations—Who, What and Why?
Presentation  |  4 April 2016
The presentation reviews the results of the 2015 survey and provides examples in production, and advice from implementers.
Presented at the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) Spring Membership meeting, 4 April 2016. San Antonio, Texas (USA).

Linked Data Survey, Part 1 (2014)  

Prompted by the OCLC Research Library Partners Metadata Managers Focus Group, excited by the potential of linked data applications to make new, valuable uses of existing metadata, OCLC Research conducted an "International Linked Data Survey for Implementers" between 7 July and 15 August 2014. We were eager to learn details of specific projects or services that format metadata as linked data and/or make subsequent use of it.

We received 122 responses, 96 of which reported 172 linked data projects or services, and 76 of them were subscribed. Details of the responses were reported by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in the following Hanging Together blog posts:

Getting Started

New to linked data? No problem. We've pulled together some resources to help you get started with linked data. Check them out:

Get Started

Join the Linked Data Conversation

Find OCLC Research's latest Linked Data ideas, thoughts, data, and projects on our blog Hanging Together.

Read Linked Data Posts

Linked Data Team

Team Lead

Jean Godby

Team Members

Ralph LeVan
Jeff Mixter
Stephan Schindehette
Karen Smith-Yoshimura
Shenghui Wang
Bruce Washburn
Jeff Young

OCLC and Linked Data Strategic Approach

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