Semantic Web Technologies: Changing Bibliographic Descriptions?


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Keynote presentation at the North Atlantic Health Science Library meeting, October 26, 2009.
An introduction to semantic web technologies and their relationship to libraries and bibliographic data.
Stuart Weibel, Senior Research Scientist, OCLC Research

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Semantic Web Technologies: Changing Bibliographic Descriptions?

  1. 1. Semantic Web Technologies:Changing Bibliographic Futures?<br />
  2. 2. Stuart WeibelSenior Research Scientist<br />OCLC Research<br />Dublin Core<br />Working in Seattle<br />Collaboration with UW<br />NSF DataNet proposal <br /> for curation of scientific <br /> data<br />
  3. 3. What’s this I hear about the Semantic Web?<br />What is the Semantic Web?<br />What does it have to do with bibliography?<br />Does it make life better for patrons?<br />Does it strengthen libraries?<br />Is it practical?<br />Where can we get some?<br />
  4. 4. What is the Semantic Web?<br />An approach to embedding structure in web resources to facilitate the extraction of meaning by machines and people.<br />A set of technologies<br />RDF: Resource Description Framework (a metadata architecture for the Web)<br />OWL<br />SKOS<br />Linked Data<br />
  5. 5. Semantic Web Technologies:RDF<br />RDF<br />a syntax for making assertions on the web<br />A structure to support inference by machines<br />RDF assertions are always expressed as triples<br />An RDF assertion has a subject, a predicate, and and object:<br />
  6. 6. RDF Assertions:Subject – Predicate – Object<br />This presentation has a title of Semantic Web Technologies: Changing Bibliographic Futures?<br />The author of this presentation is Stuart Weibel<br />This presentation was delivered on 2009-10-26<br />Presentation<br />Title<br />Author<br />Semantic Web Technologies…<br />Stuart Weibel<br />Date of <br />Delivery<br />2009-10-26<br />
  7. 7. RDF Assertions<br />Encoded in XML on the Web<br />The nodes (information resources) are URIs<br />The Arcs (predicates) are also URIs<br />Presentation<br /><br /><br />Semantic Web Technologies…<br /><br /><br />2009-10-26<br />
  8. 8. The only thing you need to know…<br />RDF provides a web language for declaring relationships among information resources<br />It is a bit like sentence diagramming <br />The important thing is to identify all the bits with globally unique, persistent Identifiers (URIs)<br />
  9. 9. OWLWeb Ontology Language<br />W3C standard for expressing ontology relationships<br />Ontologies are important tools for knowledge representation<br />The importance of knowledge representation diminishes rapidly as the scope of representation increases<br />Still largely undemonstrated general impact<br />
  10. 10. SKOSSimple Knowledge Organization System<br />W3C standards designed to support the declaration of controlled vocabularies and classification systems using the idioms of the semantic web (RDF).<br />SKOS is simpler than OWL<br />Less expertise required to deploy structured terminologies<br />
  11. 11. Linked DataWhat&apos;s all the fuss about?<br />The web is all about links: Anything new here?<br />A web of data versus a web of documents<br />Partly about granularity of resources<br />Addressable assertions as opposed to addressable documents<br />Partly about doing inference on the web<br />Making machines do more of the work of interpreting data<br />
  12. 12. Principles of Linked DataTim Berners-Lee<br />1.Use URIs as names for things (identifiers)<br />2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names<br />3.When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information<br />4.Include links to other URIs so that they can discover more things<br />
  13. 13. Linked Open Data ProjectSeeding the Web of Data<br />
  14. 14. Linked Data and Bibliography<br />Linked Data is a natural approach for bibliographic data:<br /> Why?<br />Because FRBR provides us with a coherent conceptual map of data about library assets<br />
  15. 15. FRBR Entities – Librarianship’s contribution to a richer, structured (semantic) Web<br />
  16. 16. And don’t forget Social Bibliography:User-Generated Content <br /><ul><li> Book Reviews
  17. 17. Lists
  18. 18. Services
  19. 19. Commentary</li></li></ul><li>Hook everything together with the right sort of identifiers<br />A coherent identifier infrastructure is essential to establishing a rich and dynamic scaffolding of interconnected information resources to support “users and uses of bibliographic data”<br />Broad dissemination of canonical, globally-scoped public identifiers serves the library collaborative and is the single most compelling means of making library assets visible on the Web<br />
  20. 20. Some Design Parameters for Identifiers in theGlobal Library Community<br /> Canonical identification<br /> Branding<br /> Usability<br /> Granularity and the<br /> FRBR model<br /> Persistence<br /> Universal accessibility<br /> Global scoping<br /> Search Engine <br /> Optimization<br />
  21. 21. Persistence<br /><ul><li>Not technological, but rather, a function of the commitment of organizations
  22. 22. Libraries and other cultural memory organizations do this well
  23. 23. Harder to do in the digital era, but the community is up to the task</li></li></ul><li>Universal access and global scoping<br /><ul><li>Open to all: public identifiers in a public Web
  24. 24. Should work in Myanmar, Melbourne, and Minneapolis alike
  25. 25. WorldCat is the first globally-scoped identifier architecture for library assets in which the global surrogate is mapped to locality
  26. 26. Holdings data turns out to be critical in supporting the last mile problem</li></li></ul><li>Search Engine Optimization and Canonical Identifiers<br /><ul><li>Visibility of assets in the global library is diluted by the multiplicity of identifiers</li></ul>Many competing identifier schemes<br />Localized versions of identifiers<br /><ul><li>Agreement on a canonical identifier </li></ul>Raises search engine ranking<br />Concentrates aggregation of social content<br />Simplifies supply-chain processing<br />Is Item X the same as…related to… relevant to… Item Y?<br />
  27. 27. Usability of URIs<br />URIs should be designed for people as well as machines<br />URIs should be ‘speakable’<br />URIs should be a short as can be managed<br />URIs should have a predictable pattern that makes them ‘hackable’ and ‘truncatable’<br />
  28. 28. Is Linked Data Good for Libraries?<br />Linked data can help users navigate authors, articles, concepts, organizations, and their relationship to other resources on the Web<br />Linked data can help fix library assets in the context of other data on the Web<br />Linked data can help reduce the barriers between traditional catalogs and the open Web<br />
  29. 29. Social Networking Software<br />It isn’t new… only the technical manifestation is<br />Library services in emerging social networks <br />Motivate people to participate<br />Tagging<br />Book Reviews<br />Emergent relationships, evident from data about what people buy and borrow, like and dislike (business intelligence)<br />Link to the people as well<br />
  30. 30. Linked Data will help fix library assets in their larger context<br />Tags, book reviews, recommendation data is an increasingly important component of bibliography<br />Crowd-sourced data need not go in our catalogs<br />Reliable, canonical identifiers will help tie together heterogeneous content<br />
  31. 31. Web is a wonderful metaphor, but perhaps something a bit more durable?<br />We want more<br />Coherence and context<br />Durable environments that help us preserve and fix resources in the context of culture<br />Librarianship embedded in the emerging technologies of a social, semantic Web<br />Linked data <br />
  32. 32. Web or Scaffolding?<br />
  33. 33. Is Linked Data Practical?<br />Libraries know better than most the importance of managing quality and establishing authority<br />It is unclear what the best formats for exposing linked data to the open web might be<br />The spirit of the Web suggests trying things and changing them as appropriate.<br />Watch Hans Rosling’s Ted Talk for an example of how linked data can shine<br />
  34. 34. The future of Library catalogs? <br />Evolving towards the network level<br />Collections linked to people, organizations, global locations, concepts, context, metadata, and social networking benefits<br />Fit into the workflow and social lives of patrons<br />Help create a scaffolding for past knowledge and future productivity <br />
  35. 35. An Example of Linked Data in Action<br />Hans Rosling’stour de force of linked data on the Web<br /><br />
  36. 36. Some Early Efforts<br />Libris: Catalog of the National Library of Sweden designed from a linked data perspective<br />Library of Congress Authorities:<br />LCSH <br /> is a web site that presents the Dewey Summaries as Linked Data. <br />
  37. 37. Thanks for your attention!<br />Find me on <br />Facebook<br /> Twitter<br /><br />