My colleague Jean Godby and I co-authored for the December/January 2017 issue of the ASIS&T Bulletin (aka Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology) the article, “From Records to Things: Managing the Transition from Legacy Library Metadata to Linked Data.” This is an article we were asked to write for the Bulletin’s “special section” on Information Standards. From the editor’s summary:
A basic requirement for linked data is that records include structured and clear data about topics of interest or searched Things, formatted in ways that allow linking to other data. While linked data presents great potential for the library community, libraries’ existing digital knowledge is largely inaccessible, stuck in the increasingly obsolete MARC format, readable only by humans and certain library systems. To maximize the value of linked data using library content, important entities and relationships must be defined and made available, codings that are machine understandable must be adapted for linked data purposes, and persistent identifiers must be substituted for text.
Last year, Jean and I had presented a TAI-CHI (Technical Advances for Innovation in Cultural Heritage Institutions) webinar along the same theme, “How You Can Make the Transition from MARC to Linked Data Easier”, where we offered examples of what metadata specialists can do now to make it easier to transform text strings in MARC data into the entity-“things” we later expose as linked data that others can consume.
How about you? Have you changed your workflows to make your MARC data more “Thing”-like?
Karen Smith-Yoshimura, senior program officer, topics related to creating and managing metadata with a focus on large research libraries and multilingual requirements. Karen retired from OCLC November 2020.