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Data is becoming a new source of contentions in the current networked information environments. Ambiguity about ownership and rights, fear about loss and abuse, and the increased velocity of its generation and circulation, these and other factors contribute to an uneasy relation between oneself and the data one is involved in its production, consumption, and dissemination. Cultural institutions such as libraries and museums are curators of artifacts, and are now much involved in the digitization of their content collections. Output from these digitization efforts can be simply viewed as data. What can and shall libraries and museums do with it? Open data is a technological and social trend in publishing, sharing, and linking data online. Several actors in the library, archive and museum (LAM) community have been using techniques and practices of Linking Open Data (LOD) in making their collections readily available and linkable on the web. In this talk, we will review some of the practices in the LOD-LAM community, and plan to involve the audience with a discussion on what open data is,and what cultural institutions are for.

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  1. 1. (Re)thinking Open Data and Cultural Institutions 2012 TELDAP International Conference Feb. 23, Taipei, Taiwan Tyng-Ruey Chuang IIS/CITI, Academia Sinica
  2. 2. Cultural Institutions <ul><li>“ Cultural institutions are elements within a culture/sub-culture that are perceived to be important to, or traditionally valued among, its members for their own identity. Examples of cultural institutions in modern Western society are museums, churches, schools, work and the print media.” (Wikipedia, circ. Feb. 2012) </li></ul><ul><li>We use a n arrower definition here (it’s a Culturemondo/TELDAP meeting after all). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Library, Archive, Museum (LAM) <ul><li>“ cultural artifacts” </li></ul><ul><li>acquisition, preservation, curation, exchange, and services </li></ul><ul><li>interpretation about the past </li></ul>
  4. 4. TV, Film, Radio, Newspaper (Mass Media) <ul><li>“ original content” </li></ul><ul><li>organized production and controlled distribution </li></ul><ul><li>commentary on the present </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Internet <ul><li>“ user-generated content” </li></ul><ul><li>peer production, distributed circulation, and ready to remix </li></ul><ul><li>nevertheless mediated at multiple levels </li></ul><ul><li>expression of the self </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who run cultural institutions? <ul><li>LAM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do it with love but with others’ money </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mass media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do it with one's own money, with(out) love </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self on Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do it with love and no money </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. How are interpretation, commentary, and expression sustained? <ul><li>LAM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>physical restriction; expert knowledge; public support (via state, foundation, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mass media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>scale; legal framework; corporate structure; market value </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self on Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>technical architecture; personal liberty (“freedom of expression”); social interaction; love and passion </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. “ Digital” cultural institutions <ul><li>LAM </li></ul><ul><ul><li>elimination of physical restriction on access; new ways for access to (expert) knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mass media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new production and distribution technology; translating scale to money; control on access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self on Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ configuring the networked self” (Julie Cohen) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>access to “digitized artifacts” and “original content” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concentrated intermediaries a major issue </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. “ Born digital” cultural institutions <ul><li>Internet Archive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cf. LAM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cf. Mass media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cf. Self on Internet </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Data <ul><li>data interfaces between the physical world and the information universe </li></ul><ul><li>data sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sensors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other data sources (i.e., data networks) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Being digital” means being existent as data </li></ul>
  11. 11. The problem with “content” <ul><li>content as data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>data has no master and knows no boundary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>content as creative works </li></ul><ul><ul><li>creative works have “authors” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>creative works are regulated by copyright law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>public domain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>creative works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>data </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Access to data(sets) <ul><li>entire datasets or individual items? </li></ul><ul><li>online access or offline copy? </li></ul><ul><li>restrictions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>embargo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trade secret </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ sui generis” database rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>data integrity </li></ul>
  13. 13. Collaborative production of data(sets)
  14. 14. Collaborative production of data(sets)
  15. 15. Collaborative production of data(sets)
  16. 16. Data set free! <ul><li>Creative Commons Licenses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CC BY, CC BY-SA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CC0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No Rights Reserved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Database License </li></ul><ul><li>Open Definition </li></ul><ul><li>Public Domain </li></ul>
  17. 17. Public Domain Mark
  18. 18. Aspects of “Open Data” <ul><li>practical </li></ul><ul><li>legal </li></ul><ul><li>technical </li></ul><ul><li>social </li></ul><ul><li>examples of open data in LAM </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Library of Congress Authorities & Vocabularies service
  20. 21. Europeana Linked Open Data
  21. 22. Biodiversity Heritage Library
  22. 23. Open data and cultural institutions <ul><li>open content/data allows content/data that was created in a cultural institution to freely interact with content/data from other institutions to serve new purposes </li></ul><ul><li>enable interpretations in other contexts </li></ul><ul><li>encourage more expressions from users </li></ul><ul><li>the spirit of peer-to-peer and remix </li></ul>
  23. 24. Things to think about <ul><li>cultural institutions as data (service) providers </li></ul><ul><li>network effect, free rider, provenance and governance </li></ul><ul><li>“ web age” data skills and scholarship </li></ul>
  24. 25. (Re)thinking cultural institutions <ul><li>interpretation about the past </li></ul><ul><li>commentary on the present </li></ul><ul><li>expression of the self </li></ul><ul><li>open data leads paths to new convergence </li></ul>
  25. 26. fin