New OCLC Research Report: Creating Library Linked Data with Wikibase

Cover of OCLC Research report: Creating Library Linked Data with Wikibase

OCLC Research published the report Creating Library Linked Data with WIkibase: Lessons Learned from Project Passage. The Wikibase prototype dubbed Project Passage provided a sandbox in which librarians from 16 U.S. institutions (including the University of Minnesota Libraries) could experiment with creating linked data to describe resources without having to necessarily know the technical underpinnings of linked data. To quote from the Introduction "The pilot is grounded in the metadata librarian's existential questions: How do I create a linked data representation of the resource I am looking at right now? How does this process compare with the method I may have already used to describe the resource? And what can I do with the results?" If you're interested in the answers to these questions, you'll find them in the report along with use cases from several project participants. Here is a high level summary of the lessons learned from the project.

  • The building blocks of Wikibase can be used to create structured data with a precision that exceeds current library standards.
  • The Wikibase platform enables user-driven ontology design but raises concerns about how to manage and maintain ontologies.
  • The Wikibase platform, supplemented with OCLC’s enhancements and stand-alone utilities, enables librarians to see the results of their effort in a discovery interface without leaving the metadata-creation workflow.
  • Robust tools are required for local data management.
  • To populate knowledge graphs with library metadata, tools that facilitate the import and enhancement of data created elsewhere are recommended.
  • The pilot underscored the need for interoperability between data sources, both for ingest and export.
  • The traditional distinction between authority and bibliographic data disappears in a Wikibase description.