LOD-LAM: About

The LOD-LAM Project
Connecting libraries to the unfamiliar data and metadata resources in the Linked Open Data (LOD) Universe

A research team at the School of Library and Information Science at the Kent State University, led by Drs. Zeng and Gracy, plans to conduct a two year study: the Metadata Vocabulary Junction (MV-Junction) Project. This research addresses the question of how libraries can benefit from the data and metadata resources that have been made available as a result of the Linked Open Data (LOD) movement. The project aims to become a bridge that helps connect libraries to the unfamiliar data and metadata resources in the LOD universe, by analyzing and aligning metadata terms (also known as “properties 1�7 in LOD terminology) that are used by different communities and data providers.

The Linked Open Data movement is about using the Web to connect related data formerly isolated in small or large repositories (often called “silos 1�7) and not previously linked.[1] During the last three years, the LOD project has already exceeded 200 very large datasets and continues to grow rapidly.[2] The United States government also launched an official Data.gov service in May 2009 and now hosts one of the largest open collections of RDF datasets in the world.[3] Libraries are being sought to contribute their data and metadata to the Linked Open Data universe. They have another role to play, however: as users of Linked Data. With Linked Data technologies, libraries can efficiently reach a much more diverse data universe, and more effectively provide services to their users. They can enhance their existing digital collections, web-based directories, and catalogs with these technologies and LOD resources without significantly increasing their workloads or requiring them to reengineer their bibliographic databases and Websites.

Despite their potential value to users, many datasets available as Linked Data have previously been unknown or unfamiliar to many libraries. In order to mine these datasets and obtain what might be useful, one must understand the data structures and metadata terms used by those datasets. The world of metadata standards is becoming ever more complicated, as demonstrated by the large number of metadata vocabularies, their diverse content coverage and user communities, the expanding number of entity types they address, and the multiple ways that metadata vocabularies are expressed (e.g., as ontologies). In addition, the reality of interoperability among metadata resources in the LOD universe remains largely unaddressed. Simple, yet powerful tools are needed to empower data creators to mash up the available data in a way that implements RDF principles.

The technological groundwork has already been laid for libraries and their users to benefit from Linked Data. What we need now is the intellectual preparation to support the discovery and reuse of LOD datasets appropriately and effectively, as well as the practical tools to facilitate such activities. The proposed project intends to function as a junction where the many routes, lines, or roads of descriptive practice can meet, link, or cross each other. The project aims to research and build such a junction through the alignment of metadata terms that are used by different communities and data providers within and beyond the library world. The objectives of the study are: (1) to determine the semantic relationships and align the metadata terms in the context of the metadata vocabularies from different namespaces; (2) to develop an integrated tool to facilitate discovery of matched metadata terms, reorganization of metadata terms, and use of the selected metadata terms to link and aggregate useful data based on the needs. This tool will pave the way for transparent application of sophisticated diverse metadata vocabularies from different namespaces. The intellectual merit of this proposed study is that it will advance our knowledge of how the current data models and metadata vocabularies influence the reuse and advancement of existing services of the library field. The practical contribution is that the resulting resource, MV-Junction, will encourage all libraries, regardless of their size and technical status, to tap into the riches of Linked Open Data universe

This work was supported by a grant from IMLS. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. reserved.