Use Case Crowdsourced Catalog

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Name

Crowdsourced Catalog

Owner

JISC (thanks to JISC usecase #12), reformatted and adapted by Jodi

Background and Current Practice

Goal

The supply of bibliographic data to volunteers for the purpose of improving and enhancing records; this may also involve the creation of new records. Such activity may be directed (e.g. volunteers being requested to focus on specific fields, or to add new records for a specified collection) or it may be opportunistic (i.e. volunteers invited to edit and add as and when they see fit). This Use Case assumes this is being undertaken to benefit the initiating catalogue(s), though the resulting records will be designated as open data and therefore be available for wider use. It will not necessarily involve a third party coordinating organization, though there are attractions in terms of process, quality and web-scale critical mass in such services.

The sector needs to find some way of reducing the cost of cataloguing whilst addressing the growth in publication (i.e. of things to be catalogued). This is one option. However, unpredictably paced, variable quality records will require processing, the challenges of which can be addressed through a more directive approach to community engagement (see the community science work of Galaxy Zoo).

Opportunities

  • Development of innovative / compelling third party services based on open data
  • Links with a broader engagement with User Generated Content linked to bib records, involving such as tagging, ratings, and reviews.

Use Case Scenario

The license should be explicit and as open and unencumbered as possible in order to facilitate genuine reuse.

Application of linked data for the given use case

  • Data exchange formatting - For editing, a web interface seems preferable. If a dataset is to be released for editing, it may be wise to release a standard set of attributes (not a full MARC record) in a format that can be handled by the user (e.g. CSV, XML). The availability of the resulting records as open data (in a range of formats) is best handled as a separate issue.
  • Lifecycle implications - The lifecycle of such efforts is potentially complex. Planning of the synchronization and release of the outputs is especially important.
  • Hosting requirements - The data to be edited may need hosting as a download or a separate catalogue instance. The resulting published data will need to be accessible for download.
  • Existing systems impact - The LMS will not necessarily support the logistics of this approach, though MARC export and import options (for example) may be sufficiently flexible.
  • Skills demands - Subject to the capabilities of the LMS, this will fall within the capabilities of a systems librarian. Depending on the approach, a cataloguing website may also be required which will need careful workflow engineering.

Existing Work (optional)

Related Vocabularies (optional)

Problems and Limitations

  • Unpredictably paced, variable quality records will require processing, the challenges of which can be addressed through a more directive approach to community engagement (see the community science work of Galaxy Zoo).

Risks

  • Loss of control over institutional data
  • Reduction in the quality and authority of catalogue records
  • Effort and resource required to make use of crowd source data outweighs benefits;

Related Use Cases and Unanticipated Uses (optional)

Library Linked Data Dimensions / Topics

See also

References (optional)