OCLC Research 2011: it’s starting to look like a lot of Linked Data

This is the sixth post in a mini series, where we look back at accomplishments in 2011.

While OCLC has gotten some (deserved and undeserved) bashing in the blogosphere during 2011 about the cooperative’s practices over the release of major bibliographic subset we’ve also been active in the Linked Data arena in ways that have moved the library linked data community forward.

Exhibit number one is, of course, the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), about which much has been written. It fits the pattern that I think will emerge in the linked data arena. Rather than lots of institutional releases of data we will see the emergence of significant hubs based around authoritative aggregations on which many applications and implementations will arise. This file created through the manipulation of twenty-one authority files from eighteen organizations is prominent in the Linked Data Cloud and getting more than 2 hits/second from Google. Thom Hickey, the principal force behind the creation, extension and maintenance of VIAF has sensible commentary about its development on his blog including how VIAF relates to other name identifiers. The principals in VIAF – LC, DNB, BnF and OCLC – are working to formalize VIAF’s integration as an OCLC offering where it will be offered under an Open Data Commons Attribution license. Right now it’s out in the cloud without a license which counts as “not openly licensed” in that community.

Exhibit number two is the very recent release of the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) file as linked data. I blogged about this not long ago. It has now shown up in the Linked Open Data Graph.

Exhibit number three is the Dewey linked data. Exhibit four OCLC’s support for and involvement with the Library Linked Data Incubator Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) where my Research colleague, Jeff Young, was a participant and contributor.

We expect more activity in the linked data arena during 2012 and hope to see some creative implementations and use cases as the year progresses. For now it’s Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne time.

I understand that the earliest known manuscript of Auld Lang Syne autographed by Robert Burns is at the Lilly Library Indiana University but I couldn’t find a digital image…

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