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Connecting the Dots: Linking Digitized Collections Across Metadata Silos

  1. Linking digitized collections across metadata silos Jeff Mixter and Titia van der Werf OCLC Research July 2, 2014 LIBER 2014 Connecting the Dots
  2. Introduction • Projects such as Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America have highlighted the importance of sharing metadata across silos • While both of these projects have been successful in harvesting collections data, they have had problems with rationalizing the data and forming a coherent understanding of the aggregation • In order to properly share data across silos and to better share data on the Web, for both human as well as machine consumption, there needs to be a concerted effort to apply best practices and standards that are universally understood and consumed
  3. Current Situation • Organizations create digital collections and generate metadata in repository silos. This metadata is generally: •Not connecting the digitized items to their analogue sources •Not connecting names to authority records (persons, organizations, places, etc.) nor subject descriptions to controlled vocabularies •Not connecting to related online items accessible elsewhere • Aggregators harvest this metadata that, in the process, generally gets “dumbed down”: •The University of Illinois OAI-PMH Data provider registry notes that 2964 repositories use dc. The next highest is MARC21 at 545 repositories •Even if dc.extensions are used, they are often lost in the OAI-PMH harvesting process •Aggregators usually ignore idiosyncratic use of metadata schemas and enforce the use of designated metadata fields •Digital collection items are not very visible to search engines • A recent JISC project determined “Only about 50% of items appeared on the first page of Google results using the item name or title”
  4. a case study: “a good example” Search string: exposition organisée pour le centenaire des "Fleurs du Mal" & search on full-text string from document: "Eugène Crépet" Search in: 1. BnF Catalogue (Library Catalogue) 2. Gallica (Repository) 3. WorldCat (Aggregator via DCG harvester) 4. TEL (Aggregator) 5. Europeana (Aggregator) 6. Google (Search Engine)
  5. Observations 1. A lot of duplication of effort and waste of resources in developing aggregator services within the same domain 2. A lot of missed opportunities to connect to related data inside&outside the own silo (both repository and aggregation levels) 3. Visibility/discoverability via SEO is a sign of digital maturity 4. Aggregators generally do not use the FT-indexes available from repositories to enrich their search functionality
  6. Problem Statements 1. How to share metadata and reduce costs? 2. How to make digital collections more interoperable across data silos? 3. How to make digital collections more visible to search engines?
  7. Data sharing • ‘Data sharing’ is a rather simple term and does not do justice to what it means in today’s knowledge society • What we want to do is: 1. Publish data on the Web in a format that can be consumed and indexed by aggregators/web applications 2. Share data with other organizations with the goal of ‘connecting the dots’ 3. This entails connecting points in your data to points in other organization’s data. This could be People, Places, Events, Organizations, Topics etc. 4. Connecting data across silos will help improve the ability for patrons to browse and navigate related data/items without having to do multiple searches in multiple portals
  8. Data sharing BNF France DNB Germany BL UK BNE Spain KB Netherlands Europeana TEL APEnet
  9. A Knowledge Graph • In essence what we want to build is a massive knowledge graph of data from digital collections BNF France DNB Germany KB Netherlands BNE Spain BL UK
  10. A Knowledge Graph • Better yet, we actually want to connect individual dots within and across data silos. This is the essence of Linked Data •This requires changes in how repository data is published Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh
  11. Linked Data 9854560 9854560
  12. Linked Data •Linked Data is a way of publishing data on the Web in a format that can be easily consumed and understood by both humans and machines. It relies on linking data points together to form a complex graph of information • Linked Data relies on identifiers called URIs • Things NOT Strings! • Linked Data can also be used to help connect data across silos and across domains of practice
  13. • is a Linked Data vocabulary that is understood and indexed by search engines • It is widely used: • It is used on 15% of web pages harvested by Google • over 5 million web sites • over 25 billion referenced entities • Google Web Master tools can tell users how much structured data Google is seeing and indexing • has unique 4.63 million structured data entities over 1.48 million pages • So why • Discoverability on the web • Interoperability with data outside of the library domain
  14. OCLC Projects • In 2012, OCLC added tags to records, improving the way in which library information is represented to search engines.
  16. OCLC Projects •In 2012, OCLC published VIAF data as Linked Open Data •In 2013, OCLC developed a VIAF bot for Wikipedia
  17. OCLC Projects • In April of this year (2014), OCLC released a beta version of its Works data as Linked Data, marked up in (197M work descriptions)
  18. This Points to the ‘manifestation’ in
  19. Other OCLC Projects • There is an exploratory project underway to take the Digital Collections Gateway metadata create more granular Linked Data descriptions • A USC collection was used as a test case • Using original metadata rich descriptions of people, places, events and items were created •As OCLC continues to use the vocabulary to items found in libraries archives and museums, we have begun to create extension terms to supplement shortcomings in • There is also a W3C Community Group Schema Bib Extend that proposes additional terms to for review and consideration
  20. Becoming a player in the web of data
  21. Questions?
  22. Thank You! ©2014 OCLC. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Suggested attribution: “This work uses content from [presentation title] © OCLC, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license:” Jeff Mixter – Titia van der Werf –

Editor's Notes

  1. Set the framework for why there needs to be a change in how we share and publish repository data
  2. Explain how we currently do things
  3. The author names are linked to the French authority record. The full-text index of this resource is seemingly not indexed in this catalogue.
  4. Gallica does not link the author names to any authority record/related resources. The full-text index of this resource is indexed in Gallica. Searching on “Eugène Crépet” gives 3 results extracted from the FT of this specific document, amongst other results.
  5. Searching on the string “Eugène Crépet” yields 12 results, one of which (nr.8) from the FT of the document under scrutiny. There are three extracts from the FT containing this string.
  6. The metadata coming in WorldCat via the Digital Collection Gateway is dumbed down and not enriched with links to authority records within or outside of WorldCat. The full-text index of this resource is seemingly not indexed in WorldCat.
  7. The authors are not linked to other resources within or outside TEL. The full-text index of this resource is seemingly not indexed in TEL.
  8. The author names are linked to other works WITHIN the Europeana aggregation – not to an authority record outside of Europeana (e.g. BnF authority record or VIAF). The full-text index of this resource is seemingly not indexed in Europeana.
  9. One would expect that Gallica would be top ranked on this result page (with the direct link to the FT-resource), but the DCG-WorldCat record is on top of the list – which shows that WorldCat is better in SEO. Gallica is still ranked second – which is not bad. TEL and Europeana are not visible.
  10. This is reflective of how data sharing works. Europeana harvests repository data in bulk uploads and then publishes it. They do some behind the scenes clean-up but because it is already simple dublin core the efforts are rather futile and very difficult
  11. What we actually want is to link the individual repositories together. Using a rich granular standard Web vocabulary organization will be able to publish their data without loss. The task of linking it to other repositories will still be difficult but the data experts will at least be able to work with very detailed source metadata
  12. The linking that goes on between individual data sets will actually be micro-linking. This is linking individual dots (metadata points) to other dots in other data sets.
  13. URIs are what we are actually linking together
  14. Brief overview of Linked Data and discussion of efforts already undertaken in Europe
  15. Brief overview of – I left the discussion of purposely brief as to not give the over-impression that we are trying to push it on people. I am not sure if that would come off as offensive to anyone.
  16. Overview of OCLC Linked Data releases and then a more detailed discussion about the exploratory project that I am working on. Emphasis of just getting data published using The conclusion of this slide will be that the goal of developing better Digital Collection Gateway Linked Data records is to enable us build better descriptions of these items. The job would be much easier if we could simply link to the Linked Data descriptions published by the original creator of the data (i.e. the repository). The repository has the benefit of being able to generate Linked Data from highly granular source metadata where as the Digital Collections Gateway has to rely on simple Dublin Core data.