Use Case Template

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The mission of the Library Linked Data Incubator Group is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities--focusing on Linked Data--in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future. [1]

Achieving this goal will depend on identifying shared models, modes of collaboration, and a common understanding of the changing ways that data is shared on the web.

One approach to this problem is to identify use cases that reflect expectations of how end-users will exploit library services and assets, how libraries will make such assets and services available, and the infrastructure and devices necessary to complete this connection. It is important, as well, to recognize that libraries exist within an ecosystem of many information providers and services, and the interrelationships among all information providers is an important component of such use cases.

A use case describes what a user can do with a system by specifying a sequence of interactions between user and system leading to a desirable outcome. It should not be confused with specifying the technology itself: a use case may allow for many alternatives to achieving user needs. While use cases are typically devised independently of underlying technology (that is, they are intended to expose functional requirements, rather than to specify the means by which such requirements are satisfied), the focus of this Incubator Group is specifically on how linked data approaches might be brought to bear so as to improve the overall ability to satisfy user needs. The linked data perspective should therefore be integral to the use cases.

To help analysis across use cases and to keep a consistent level of information, each use case should try to follow the template below, providing something for each non-optional field.

The rationale for the design of the template can be found here.

Please follow the curation guidelines.


The Wiki page URL should be of the form "Use_Case_Name", where Name is a short name by which we can refer to the use case in discussions. The Wiki page URL can act as a URI identifier for the use case.


The person responsible for maintaining the correctness/completeness of this use case. Most obviously, this would be the creator.

Background and Current Practice

Where this use case takes place in a specific domain, and so requires some prior information to understand, this section is used to describe that domain. As far as possible, please put explanation of the domain in here, to keep the scenario as short as possible. If this scenario is best illustrated by showing how applying technology could replace current existing practice, then this section can be used to describe the current practice. Often, the key to why a use case is important also lies in what problem would occur if it was not achieved, or what problem means it is hard to achieve.


Two short statements stating (1) what is achieved in the scenario without reference to linked data, and (2) how we use linked data technology to achieve this goal.

Target Audience

The main audience of your case. For example scholars, the general public, service providers, archivists, computer programs...

Use Case Scenario

The use case scenario itself, described as a story in which actors interact with systems. This section should focus on the user needs in this scenario. Do not mention technical aspects and/or the use of linked data.

Application of linked data for the given use case

This section describes how linked data technology could be used to support the use case above. Try to focus on linked data on an abstract level, without mentioning concrete applications and/or vocabularies. Hint: Nothing library domain specific.

Existing Work (optional)

This section is used to refer to existing technologies or approaches which achieve the use case (Hint: Specific approaches in the library domain). It may especially refer to running prototypes or applications.

Related Vocabularies (optional)

Here you can list and clarify the use of vocabularies (element sets and value vocabularies) which can be helpful and applied within this context.

Problems and Limitations

This section lists reasons why this scenario is or may be difficult to achieve, including pre-requisites which may not be met, technological obstacles etc. Please explicitly list here the technical challenges made apparent by this use case. This will aid in creating a roadmap to overcome those challenges.

Related Use Cases and Unanticipated Uses (optional)

The scenario above describes a particular case of using linked data.. However, by allowing this scenario to take place, the likely solution allows for other use cases. This section captures unanticipated uses of the same system apparent in the use case scenario.

Library Linked Data Dimensions / Topics

The dimensions and topics are used to organize the use cases. At the same time, they might help you to identify additional aspects currently not covered. If appropriate topics and/or dimensions are missing, please specify them here and annotate them by a “*”.

*these items are not in the initial list, suggestion for adding them

References (optional)

This section is used to refer to cited literature and quoted websites.