Creating and Sustaining Communities Around Shared Data: The Case of OCLC


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Presented by Karen Calhoun at the ALCTS Forum, American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, Denver CO, 26 January 2009. Discusses community norms and policies for sharing the data that supports the discovery and delivery of library collections; places these in the context of the broader data sharing environment outside libraries; and analyzes the process and rationale for revising OCLC's Guidelines for the Use and Transfer of Records.

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  • Thanks for opportunity, etc. Intro self if not introduced 18 months at OCLC Last ten years at Cornell University Library in variety of roles, most recent the Associate University Librarian for Info Tech and Tech Services
  • Creating and Sustaining Communities Around Shared Data: The Case of OCLC

    1. 1. Creating and Sustaining Communities Around Shared Data: the Case of OCLC Karen Calhoun Vice President, WorldCat and Metadata Services ALCTS Forum January 2009
    2. 2. The OCLC Cooperative’s “Ecosystem of Collectively Valuable Content” <ul><li>It’s not just the data that OCLC members share </li></ul><ul><li>They also share infrastructure and services </li></ul><ul><li>The costs of cooperating are a fraction of the costs of not cooperating </li></ul><ul><li>Data sharing practices governed by Guidelines for the Use and Transfer of OCLC-Derived Records </li></ul>
    3. 3. A Shared Community Asset: Swimming Pools More than the water in the pool! Lifeguards, swim lessons, water slides … Community cost sharing – Admission rates pay for pool and its services Policy provides terms for non-resident use By xcode,
    4. 4. OCLC’s critics … “ OCLC is trapped in an increasingly inappropriate business model—a model based upon the value in the creation and control of data. Increasingly, in this interconnected world, the value is in making data openly available and building services upon it.  When people get charged for one thing, but gain value from another, they will become increasingly uncomfortable with the old status quo.” Wallis, Richard. “OCLC and ROI.” Panlibus Blog (Talis), December 11, 2007.
    5. 5. Then and Now: A Time of Transition <ul><li>THEN: </li></ul><ul><li>“ A model based upon the value in the creation and control of data” </li></ul><ul><li>NOW: </li></ul><ul><li>A model based upon the value in the exchange and linking of data </li></ul>Janus, guardian of doors and gates
    6. 6. Updating the Guidelines <ul><li>Expand the opportunities for record sharing among member and non-member libraries, archives and museums </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to the changing information landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Modernize the language of the Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify how WorldCat records can be used and shared </li></ul><ul><li>Overall intent to ensure use of records created by OCLC members </li></ul><ul><li>benefits the OCLC cooperative as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>offers a fair return to members by those who would use the records </li></ul><ul><li>from outside the cooperative </li></ul>
    7. 7. OCLC’s Record Use Study Group: Our Charge (January 2008) <ul><li>Identify key values or principles underlying the Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principles of cooperation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines for contribution: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental scan of data sharing policies </li></ul><ul><li>Interview internal and external stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Draft new policy to replace Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Support widespread use of WorldCat records while assuring fair return to OCLC members and the cooperative </li></ul>
    8. 8. Community Norms and Best Practices: the Case of the Guidelines <ul><li>Norms: “rules that are socially enforced”; “customary rules of behavior” </li></ul><ul><li>Norms are voluntary although social sanctions may be used to maintain them </li></ul><ul><li>Work together to build WorldCat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute holdings promptly and fully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help maintain the database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Promote responsible use of WorldCat records, systems, and services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit to authorized users; notify of unapproved uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disseminate information about principles of cooperation to others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ensure the resources of the cooperative are used to the benefit of the cooperative” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OCLC’s uses of contributed data consistent with its chartered purposes </li></ul>
    9. 9. Open Data Commons Community Norms (Draft) <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary – code of conduct </li></ul><ul><li>Share alike </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution – and let others know what you’ve done with their work </li></ul><ul><li>Give URL of source </li></ul><ul><li>Publicize ODC license </li></ul><ul><li>Use open formats and don’t use technical protection measures </li></ul>
    10. 10. What Other Norms, Best Practices, Terms, Conditions Exist for Data Sharing? The Record Use Study Group’s Environmental Scan
    11. 11. Data Sharing Environmental Scan by OCLC Record Use Study Group <ul><li>Evaluated norms, policies and licenses related to use and re-use of metadata and content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial and non-commercial data providers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prevailing opinion in the blogosphere: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Data should be free and open” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly everybody has terms and conditions that impose some degree of restriction on data re-use and transfer </li></ul></ul>NO RIGHTS RESERVED SOME RIGHTS RESERVED ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
    12. 12. Sample Terms and Conditions for Metadata/Content – Private Sector <ul><li>Amazon – Amazon Associates Web Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose of data access is to drive traffic to Amazon; any user of data must link back to Amazon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ProQuest MARC Records </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For use by purchasing institutions only; loading records into shared cataloging system not permitted </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All Media Guide/AllMusic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For use online only and solely for personal, non-commercial use; all other use and transfer prohibited </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter data can be shared on other Web sites; pages on other Websites that display Twitter data must link back to Twitter </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Sample Terms and Conditions for Metadata/Content – Public or Social Sector <ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GNU Free Documentation License makes documents free to copy, distribute, modify, for commercial or non-commercial use; requires attribution of original author’s/publisher’s work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OCLC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free non-commercial use of data (end user service); conditions for data re-use and transfer; non-library uses/transfers require agreements between OCLC and user/transferee(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sherpa/RoMEO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free to interested parties with conditions for re-use; re-use governed by Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License; RoMEO logo must appear on public pages </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Perspective on “Open Data” Correlated With … <ul><li>How financial viability is achieved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the degree of dependence on revenue from content, metadata, or content/metadata-based services? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon – majority of revenue from online sales </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google – majority of revenue from ads </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia – almost all revenue from donations to Wikimedia Foundation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sherpa/RoMEO – public and social sector funding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OCLC – a cooperative – relies on recovering costs of infrastructure and services based on member-contributed metadata </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All Media Guide/AllMusic – revenue comes from licensing the content and metadata it creates to others </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. A Landscape Rich in “Lessons in Contradiction” <ul><li>Other people’s data should be free </li></ul>
    16. 16. What Will Help Libraries? <ul><li>Reduced operational costs for data creation and management, resource sharing, public services </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure of library data and collections in as many places as possible on the Web </li></ul><ul><li>More traffic to libraries from popular Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>To do these things, libraries need to collaborate more than ever, and … </li></ul><ul><li>They need shared data, shared infrastructure, shared services … </li></ul><ul><li>On the network </li></ul><ul><li>Partners not adversaries </li></ul>La Grande bibliothèque nationale du Québec Attribution: Uploaded on May 8, 2005 by Master Long
    17. 17. Examples of partnerships that provide a ‘fair return’ to OCLC Members <ul><li>New or enhanced content for WorldCat – e.g., linking digitized books to WorldCat (Google Book Search agreement May 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Support for making library workflows less costly – WorldCat Cataloging Partner agreements (e.g., Blackwell Book Services) </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic driven from popular Web sites to library collections via (e.g., Yahoo! agreement) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Updating the Guidelines <ul><li>Balancing act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make WorldCat data as open as possible, but … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assure use outside the cooperative provides a fair return to the OCLC members who contribute the data and … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protect members’ investment in OCLC data, infrastructure, and services </li></ul></ul>By: Hello I am Bruce
    19. 19. Guidelines and the Revised Policy – What’s the Same <ul><li>Both support </li></ul><ul><li>Noncommercial sharing of member data among libraries (revised policy adds archives and museums) </li></ul><ul><li>Consortial union catalogs and resource sharing systems </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure of members' data in ILSes and new discovery layers </li></ul><ul><li>End user data sharing from library catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Both require </li></ul><ul><li>Separate agreements with organizations making commercial use of members' data </li></ul><ul><li>Separate agreements when libraries want to share members' data that doesn't reflect their own holdings </li></ul>
    20. 20. Guidelines and Revised Policy – Key Difference <ul><li>The revised policy is framed as a legal document. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Overall intent to ensure use of records created by OCLC members </li></ul><ul><li>benefits the OCLC cooperative as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>offers a fair return to members by those who would use the records </li></ul><ul><li>from outside the cooperative </li></ul>
    21. 21. What Happened Next <ul><li>An OCLC community norm we did not take seriously enough: </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory decision making </li></ul><ul><li>“ It would seem that this policy did not get as wide of a hearing as it deserved.” – Peter Murray, OHIOLINK </li></ul>Source: Martin Mehl Permission requested
    22. 22. Review Board on Principles of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship <ul><li>Jointly established – Board of Trustees, Members Council </li></ul><ul><li>Chair, Jennifer Younger (University of Notre Dame) </li></ul><ul><li>Read and study reports and postings on revised policy </li></ul><ul><li>Organize information sharing and feedback sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend principles of shared data creation/maintenance and changes to policy </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary report from chair at February virtual meeting of Members Council </li></ul>
    23. 23. Implementation Delayed To Allow Time for Community Review <ul><li>The WorldCat Record Use Policy was scheduled to be implemented in mid-February; now third quarter calendar 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>OCLC paying close attention to all comments </li></ul><ul><li>Specific comments and questions are invited and welcome at [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for announcements of information sharing and input sessions organized by Review Board </li></ul>
    24. 24. Awareness and support for norms of OCLC cooperative? Who owns the records? <ul><li>“ I paid for the records and they are mine to do with as I please” </li></ul>
    25. 25. Whose Records Are They Anyway? – They Are A Shared Community Asset
    26. 26. Are WorldCat and the Shared Services Built Upon It Worth Having? <ul><li>Share the costs of metadata creation and maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Few records are the work of one cataloger, but the result of iterative work that WorldCat enables catalogers to record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OCLC staff make a massive investment in maintaining WorldCat and making members’ data work harder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share a comprehensive international union catalog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Now at 125 million records; in 2008, almost 5 new holdings were added every second </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share resources with other libraries and make the ‘collective collections’ of libraries more visible on the Web </li></ul>
    27. 27. Some Fundamental Questions to Consider <ul><li>Community norms – what are the appropriate principles and best practices for collaboratively creating and sharing data, infrastructure, and services, and for sharing the costs of such a system? </li></ul><ul><li>How should these norms be articulated? </li></ul><ul><li>Should these norms be voluntary, or should they be enforceable policy? </li></ul><ul><li>What principles should govern use of the data outside the community that bears the costs of creating and sharing the data, infrastructure, and services? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes a shared community asset (like a library cooperative) sustainable? </li></ul>
    28. 28. Opportunities for Input <ul><li>OCLC paying close attention to all comments </li></ul><ul><li>Specific comments and questions are invited and welcome at [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for announcements of information sharing and input sessions organized by Review Board </li></ul>
    29. 29. Thank You [email_address]