Collection data locked in library catalogues can be released into the semantic web by transforming it into linked data thereby making it discoverable by anyone, anywhere.
National bibliographies, comprising millions of bibliographic records and typically built over decades, contain a prime dataset ripe for transformation and exposure on the web. However, releasing a national union catalogue as linked data opens up a range of policy, procedure, organisational, infrastructure, training, financial, ownership and capacity questions that need to be addressed in order to create a sustainable data future for the national collection.
The British and French national libraries released their bibliographies as linked data in 2011, and their experiences provide valuable lessons for libraries considering adopting linked data for national collections. This paper will adopt a comparative approach in identifying the strategic and organisational drivers, enablers, and inhibitors to be considered in transforming a national bibliography into linked data.
The study utilised a case analysis framework, with site visits, semi-structured interviews, informal discussions and document analysis employed in identifying and examining the key concepts and challenges involved in converting traditional national bibliographies into linked data platforms. A comparative analysis of the French and British experiences was undertaken, with specific consideration given to the financial and organisational aspects of the process, in addition to policy and sustainability.
This paper outlines the key findings in relation to the differences and similarities of the French and British cases and their implications for an Australian process of linked data conversion, and suggests a best practice for implementing a linked data bibliographical release.
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