“W3C Library Linked Data Incubator” discussion = why I love LinkedIn Groups!!!

Online collaboration is an amazing thing: with this one discussion title on the Digital Libraries LinkedIn Group, I learned not only what is currently happening in European libraries, I learned a lot more about the semantic web!

The original  post queried: “What is going to be the real impact of the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group final report?”

I didn’t even know there was a Linked Data Incubator Group final report, although given the W3C name in the heading, I could at least know that it had to do with some kind of online universal interoperability of data…and that incubator adjective intrigued me! What in the heck is a “data incubator”?

Some of the responses to this question:

  • create no more MARC records (which probably initially sounds nothing but blasphemous :-))
  • nix Z39.50 and use http (since I’ve never studied all the  elements that Z39.50 entails, I admit to a bit of haziness on this, so I need to read up on Z39.50, even if it looks like it might be going by the wayside. I imagine this suggestion, also, imight be anathema to many information professionals…)
  • the transition from MARC to RDF (or in America, RDA) should be relatively painless (although given how haywire some Authority file changes can make catalog searching, I’m a bit leery that this will be a simple mapping/crosswalk issue…however, since I’ve seen how powerful metadata crosswalks can be, I think it can be done if you get COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS & LIBRARIANS TOGETHER to write the code).

What I learned most from reading the final data incubator report itself is that Metadata — a facet of librarianship that I’ve fallen in love with — is going to be in more and more demand, and since I enjoy metadata application (properly applied, metadata is incredibly powerful!), I’m hoping this means finding a job that I love, whether that involves creating these universal taxonomies; creating best-practices guideliness for metadata application; ensuring the crosswalk/mapping is correct; or creating data topic webs, I’m giddy :-).  (No, I’m not kidding about being giddy)

I’m more thankful than ever that I took Dr. Steven MacCall’s (LJ‘s 2010 Teaching Award recipient) Metadata course. Because I did, I can appreciate the beauty of metadata,  as well as appreciating how much potential there is for metadata with respect to the future of librarianship as we know it.

If only there was a response of the European librarians to this Final Report: I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be in the field!!!

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2 Responses to “W3C Library Linked Data Incubator” discussion = why I love LinkedIn Groups!!!

  1. Steven MacCall says:

    Thanks for the note … this is a good recapitulation of the issues. A couple of points:

    * I wouldn’t worry about Z39.50 … it is a pre-Web standard for searching remote catalogs. Now, we have Web-based interfaces. Here’s the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z3950
    * RDF is an encoding standard like MaRC. From this perspective, RDF has nothing to do per se with RDA, which is basically AACR3 (a descriptive cataloging rulebook). Put another way, AACR2 gives MaRC its semantics and RDA (when encoded with RDF) gives RDF its semantics. But even this is not totally correct, because RDF, like XML, is a general solution that can be deployed to a wide variety of solutions requiring semantic encoding. IOW, RDF (along with MaRC, XML, etc) can be used to encode the semantics of bibliographic data. See this WP page for others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Bibliography_file_formats

  2. Steven MacCall says:

    Once sentence above needs a slight correction:

    But even this is not totally correct, because RDF, like XML, is a general solution that can be deployed to a wide variety of solutions requiring semantic encoding.
    should be
    But even this is not totally correct, because RDF, like XML, is a general solution that can be deployed to a wide variety of problems/needs/situations requiring semantic encoding for the encoded exchange of structured (meta)data.

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