What is Semantic Web and Linked Data?

Semantic-aware applications infer the meaning, or semantics, of information on the Internet using metadata to make connections and provide answers that would otherwise be elusive or altogether invisible. In the library world, a similar sharing of metadata has been accomplished for nearly 50 years using the machine-readable cataloging format. However, there is a trend toward connecting the metadata found in library catalog and museum collection systems with the Internet through variations on linked data. Semantic searching is being applied to scientific inquiries, allowing researchers to find relevant information without having to deal with apparently similar, but irrelevant, information. Semantic applications and linked data have the potential to be immensely powerful educational resources that enable students, researchers, and museum visitors to more effectively sift, query, and gather relevant information.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • This is the next frontier in search technology. Libraries risk getting left out if they do not participate. Moreover Bibframe and similar along library data to rejoin the web. - aarontay aarontay Apr 10, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 10, 2015 I agree that this is where searching and data are headed.- jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015 Yes agree, this is the focus of much information science research but not being applied firmly enough in the academic context. Imagine the power of this linked to the development of digital assistants.
  • The advent of linked data and the semantic web is changing the way that item records are perceived and managed. This technology is clearly critical for libraries, and will dramatically impact the development of cataloging and technical services more broadly.
    - mcalter mcalter Apr 12, 2015- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015- Achim.Bonte Achim.Bonte Apr 16, 2015 - oren oren Apr 16, 2015 - edlef edlef Apr 18, 2015
  • Researchers are being encouraged to adopt unique identifiers such as ISNI and ORCID, and these are the building blocks for linked data about the works of and about individuals, and their instantiations in collecting agencies. The ISNI agency has created linked data from the metadata harvested from many collecting institutions. See http://isni.org/how-isni-works - g.payne g.payne Apr 14, 2015
  • This technology may change core tasks in libraries fundamentally. Instead of cataloging single items, libraries may curate ontologies in special fields and link their holdings to existing sources in the web. From user's perspective it may lead to search engines that provide knowledge as result.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015
  • The current trend towards producing data is well established, far less established is consuming it. I hope that we see projects about viewing and using data from disparate nodes in the web sooner rather than later…this is still some way off & library vendors seem to be largely nowhere at this point. - rurik.greenall rurik.greenall Apr 19, 2015 - erik.stattin erik.stattin Apr 20, 2015
  • The development of a new Wikimedia project - Wikidata has the opportunity to provide linked data in all the languages of the Wikimedia projects about entities and will provide semantic enrichment directly to many libraries via projects at Europeana and other aggregators. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • . MARC records may not be the only type of data . One wonders about all the controlled vocabulary in article/abstracts databases library buy from vendors. - aarontay aarontay Apr 10, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 And new formats like RDA or BIBFRAME are a first step into this direction.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015 - oren oren Apr 16, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 With Wikidata likely to be a major factor - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • The necessity for libraries to be semantic objects themselves. Our tendency to emphasize our data over our identity means that while we might build a very rich LOD environment, if the Web isn't aware of its place and relationships, it may not mean much. Kenning Arlitsch and Patrick O'Brien are doing research in this area (introduction). Even many large ARL libraries have poor semantic identities, which hampers the ability of Google, et al., to identify and rank their resources.- askeyd askeyd Apr 20, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • As mentioned above, it may lead to completely new ways of cataloging.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015
  • see R3 "Growing Value of Library Catalogs from Conceptual Connections" - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 16, 2015
  • Library Catalogs obtain a new quality in many respects: Multilingualism, transfers from the general language in the technical language and vice versa, disambiguation - Achim.Bonte Achim.Bonte Apr 16, 2015 - edlef edlef Apr 18, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • Provides flexible data models that can be made to work locally and function for data exchange globally; in contrast with the current situation where even slight deviation from the standards creates an unholy mess- rurik.greenall rurik.greenall Apr 19, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • This development is important to libraries and is developing around them. The BIBFRAME standard for conversion of MARC to XML is a way forward for the representation of library linked data, but there are as yet platform needs to consider in terms of maintenance, indexing, and searching this data.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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