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Library Linked Data Incubator Group Final Report
W3C Incubator Group Report XX September 2011

This Version:
Latest Published Version:

    Thomas Baker, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, US (W3C Invited Expert)
    Emmanuelle Bermès, Centre Pompidou, France (W3C Invited Expert)
    Karen Coyle, Consultant, US (W3C Invited Expert)
    Gordon Dunsire, Consultant, UK (W3C Invited Expert)
    Antoine Isaac, Europeana and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Peter Murray, Lyrasis, US (W3C Invited Expert)
    Michael Panzer, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., US
    Jodi Schneider, DERI Galway at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
    Ross Singer, Talis Group Ltd, UK
    Ed Summers, Library of Congress, US
    William Waites, University of Edinburgh (School of Informatics), UK
    Jeff Young, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., US
    Marcia Zeng, Kent State University, US (W3C Invited Expert)

Copyright © 2011 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved. W3C liability, trademark and document use rules apply.


The mission of the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group, chartered from May 2010 through August 2011, has been "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." This final report of the Incubator Group examines how Semantic Web standards and Linked Data principles can be used to make the valuable information assets that library create and curate -- resources such as bibliographic data, authorities, and concept schemes -- more visible and re-usable outside of their original library context on the wider Web.

The Incubator Group began by eliciting reports on relevant activities from parties ranging from small, independent projects to national library initiatives (see the separate report, Library Linked Data Incubator: Use Cases @@@CITE@@@). These use cases provided the starting point for the work summarized in the report: an analysis of the benefits of library Linked Data; a discussion of current issues with regard to traditional library data, existing library Linked Data initiatives, and legal rights over library data; and recommendations for next steps. The report also summarizes the results of a survey of current Linked Data technologies and an inventory of library Linked Data resources available today (see also the more detailed report, Library Linked Data Incubator Group: Datasets, Value Vocabularies, and Metadata Element Sets @@@CITE@@@).

Key recommendations of the report are:

  • That library leaders identify sets of data as possible candidates for early exposure as Linked Data and foster a discussion about Open Data and rights;
  • That library standards bodies increase library participation in Semantic Web standardization, develop library data standards that are compatible with Linked Data, and disseminate best-practice design patterns tailored to library Linked Data;
  • That data and systems designers design enhanced user services based on Linked Data capabilities, create URIs for the items in library datasets, develop policies for managing RDF vocabularies and their URIs, and express library data by re-using or mapping to existing Linked Data vocabularies;
  • That librarians and archivists preserve Linked Data element sets and value vocabularies and apply library experience in curation and long-term preservation to Linked Data datasets.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of Final Incubator Group Reports is available. See also the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

Publication of this document by W3C as part of the W3C Incubator Activity indicates no endorsement of its content by W3C, nor that W3C has, is, or will be allocating any resources to the issues addressed by it. Participation in Incubator Groups and publication of Incubator Group Reports at the W3C site are benefits of W3C Membership.

Incubator Groups have as a goal to produce work that can be implemented on a Royalty Free basis, as defined in the W3C Patent Policy. Participants in this Incubator Group have made no statements about whether they will offer licenses according to the licensing requirements of the W3C Patent Policy for portions of this Incubator Group Report that are subsequently incorporated in a W3C Recommendation.

This document was developed by the Library Linked Data Incubator Group.

Discussion on this document is welcome on the public mailing list public-lld@w3.org (archive).