A Guide for Transforming Digital Collections Metadata into Linked Data Using Open Source Technologies

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Journal of Library Metadata





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Linked Open Data (LOD) has been a focus of great interest in the library and information science literature in recent years. Much of the literature in this area has been in explaining concepts and discussing its applicability to library data. Implementation of LOD is based on concepts that differ from those of more traditional databases and records. This adds a certain level of complexity to an understanding of its application in practice. As a relatively new topic, the library literature lacks best practices for implementing LOD. The goal of this paper is to share with the readers the challenges faced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) LOD project team in implementing the transformation of digital-collection metadata into LOD and the solutions that were adopted. The author briefly introduces basic concepts of LOD and explains, step-by-step, how to transform digital-collections metadata into LOD, thereby indicating the open source technologies and data model that might be considered as tools for such a transformation. The project is in its final phase of implementation. Lessons learned so far will be of great value for those who are planning to pursue such an endeavor. Prior experience by the author in leading a hands-on workshop on LOD indicates that as attendees perform practical tasks for generating triples (statements) from metadata, their understanding of LOD and its potential benefits are consolidated. This paper is organized in such a way as to accomplish this same objective.


Academic libraries; Case study; Digital collections; Interlinking; Linked Open Data; Metadata; Semantic Web

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