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    1. 1. Establishing the Connection: Creating the Linked Open British National Bibliography Neil Wilson Head of Metadata Services Online Information Conference 30 November 2011!/BLMetadata
    2. 2. British Library Metadata Services Background <ul><li>Operated prior to the BL’s foundation as ‘The British National Bibliography’ (BNB) Ltd from1950 </li></ul><ul><li>Originally offered priced services for national & international libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Evolved through changes in format & delivery technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Offered free services from 2010 as part of the BL’s new open metadata strategy </li></ul>
    3. 3. BL Metadata Services Stakeholder Relationships
    4. 4. Library Sector Relevance? Declining? Increasing? <ul><li>“ I did my PhD with only 12 visits to a library. That was 5 years ago; things have improved since then, now you don’t need to use one at all!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The release of library data offers the opportunity for it to be used in ways unthought-of by the library & information community…” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Changing Expectations Putting Public Sector Data To Work <ul><li>McKinsey forecasts the benefits value of open public data could be 250bn Euros </li></ul><ul><li>“ Putting the Frontline First ” required “ the majority of government-published information to be reusable, linked data” by June 2011 . </li></ul><ul><li>Public data will be released under the same open licence which enables free re-use, including commercial re-use </li></ul>
    6. 6. Library Metadata The Promise of Linked Data <ul><li>Better web integration of resources increasing visibility & reaching new users </li></ul><ul><li>A global pool of reusable data for organisations to add unique value </li></ul><ul><li>New library leadership opportunities due to persistence, stability & authority </li></ul><ul><li>Such benefits cross national & sectoral boundaries but require huge cultural changes </li></ul>
    7. 7. How Are We Meeting The Challenge? <ul><li>Our new open metadata strategy aims to: </li></ul><ul><li>Enable increased innovation without unnecessary barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Break from library formats & use cross domain standards </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain attribution while offering more permissive licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver with decreasing resources while maintaining revenue </li></ul>
    8. 8. What Have We Achieved? <ul><li>Signed over 450 organisations in 71 countries to free data services </li></ul><ul><li>Supplied 3-15 million item XML datasets under Creative Commons licenses </li></ul><ul><li>Worked with JISC & linked open data implementers on technical, standards & licensing challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Created a linked data version of the British National Bibliography </li></ul>
    9. 9. Our Linked Data Journey… Why the British National Bibliography? <ul><li>We wanted to: </li></ul><ul><li>Advance debate from theory to practice via release of a critical mass of data </li></ul><ul><li>Show commitment by using a core dataset - niche examples are not as compelling </li></ul><ul><li>Create a foundational service others can build upon & not a dead end </li></ul>
    10. 10. Our Linked Data Journey… Preliminaries <ul><ul><ul><li>We first identified: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The best licensing model for our objectives (CC0) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A proven hosting platform (Talis) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sources of expert knowledge & feedback (e.g. W3C, Open Bibliography etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>… in order to concentrate effort on adding new value to our data </li></ul>
    11. 11. Our Linked Data Journey… Additional Objectives <ul><li>The project would be a staff & organisational development opportunity using: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-house personnel i.e. librarians rather than IT experts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-existing tools & technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Library MARC21 data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Established & trusted linked resources </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Our Linked Data Journey… Migrating From a Flat Catalogue Card Model… <ul><li>We aimed to: </li></ul><ul><li>Start simple & develop in line with evolving staff expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Utilise staff training & mentoring from Talis in: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linked data concepts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RDF modelling </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation options </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>… and use the opportunity to blend the best of traditional & new approaches </li></ul>
    13. 13. Our Linked Data Journey… To Something New…
    14. 14. Our Linked Data Journey… Selecting Sites To Link To (for mutual benefit) <ul><li>To position our data in a wider context </li></ul><ul><li>We blended general linked resources i.e.: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GeoNames </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lexvo </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RDF Book Mashup </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>With key linked library resources i.e.: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LCSH SKOS </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VIAF </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Our Linked Data Journey… Matching & Generating Links <ul><li>Three approaches used: </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic generation from data elements in records </li></ul><ul><li>Automated text matching with linked data resource dumps </li></ul><ul><li>Two stage crosswalk matching process for coded data </li></ul>
    16. 16. Our Linked Data Journey… Embedding The Links
    17. 17. Our Linked Data Journey The MARC to RDF XML Conversion Workflow MARC to RDF XML Conversion Consists of multiple automated steps using a number of tools <ul><li>Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-processing </li></ul><ul><li>Character set conversion </li></ul><ul><li>URI Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Data Transformation </li></ul>
    18. 18. Where Did We Get To? Hosted on the Platform: . BNB Books 1950-2011 2.5 Million Records 80 Million Unique RDF Triples
    19. 19. What Does It Look Like ?
    20. 20. Lessons Learned - Its a new way of thinking… <ul><li>Legacy data wasn’t designed for this so take care with data modelling & sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is still learning so you may be the best judge </li></ul><ul><li>There are often tools or expertise out there so don’t reinvent the wheel </li></ul>
    21. 21. Lessons Learned – Data Issues <ul><li>Offer sample access to the community for feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Expect criticism in addition to positive feedback & continually improve </li></ul><ul><li>Any conversion inevitably identifies hidden data issues…& creates new ones! </li></ul><ul><li>… but it’s often better to release an imperfect something than a perfect nothing! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Lessons Learned - Staff and Resource Issues <ul><li>It can be a steep learning curve so: </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit external expertise to work with or guide your own domain experts </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate a staff culture of enquiry & innovation to widen perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Identify & use pre-existing tools to save development time & assist data validation </li></ul>
    23. 23. Lessons Learned – Was It Worth It? <ul><li>The benefits have been significant & the initiative has: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Given us a presence without distorting revenue streams …& may even offer new options </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gained us a 1 st mover advantage within our sector & advanced discussion as hoped </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shown that if you offer useful data, people will use it With over 3 million transactions in the 1 st 3 months </li></ul></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Our Linked Data Journey - Where Next? <ul><ul><ul><li>Release of further BNB material </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Refine & document the new data model </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify further resources to link to </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly updates on completion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify what else can be offered? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Final Thoughts… <ul><li>It’s never going to be perfect first time </li></ul><ul><li>We expect to make mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>We aim to learn from them </li></ul><ul><li>We hope others will learn something too </li></ul><ul><li>& everyone benefits </li></ul><ul><li>So if anyone is thinking of undertaking a similar journey… </li></ul><ul><li>Just do it! </li></ul>
    26. 26. British Library Metadata Services Images from http://!/BLMetadata [email_address]