Linked data in libraries provides opportunities for increased discoverability and reuse and repurposing of content for new applications. The benefits extend beyond libraries, and is being seen increasingly in the cultural, academic, government, and health sectors. This presentation outlines the steps taken to prepare bibliographic records for linked data, and identifies other opportunities for libraries in developing linked data.
Libraries have many years of experience in creating and managing data. Legacy data is a valuable resource, but does not integrate well with new standards. To be successful in the new environment, metadata must differentiate between content and carrier, and must enable appropriate links to unambiguously identify entities to expose and leverage correct and relevant relationships. The implementation of RDA and the release of Library of Congress RDA authority records with the recent inclusion of URIs in 024 fields are significant and exciting developments.
The University of Sydney Library has approximately 3 million bibliographic records; a large percentage of these are AARC2 and some are AACR1. There are over 1 million Library of Congress authority records, but not all bibliographic records have been through authority control. In order to fill the gaps and to get the data fit for purpose, we decided to kick off by identifying significant and unique categories of resources to put through onsite quality checks followed by authority control and RDA conversion by our offsite vendor. The immediate benefit is more authorised access points and references providing helpful information delivered 24/7 to library clients. More than that, it is preparedness through data cleaning and enhancement to build the backbone of reliable links and better discoverability for the linked data future.
Libraries can play other roles to support linked data. They can promote the take up of persistent identifiers such as ORCID, publish their own institutional data in a linked data format for reuse, and ensure linked data capabilities are considered in the development of new library and institutional systems.
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