The hot topic of library circles in recent weeks appears to be linked data. While I feel like a trendspotter for recognizing this, I would like to say more. One recent blog post on the topic on the SLA Future Ready 365 site called vocabularies the “magic glue” holding data together. Vocabularies promote standardization, establish linkages, and ultimately allow for mapping of search queries to the correct information.
Findability, again? Vocabulary, taxonomy, thesauri and linked data in partnership can indeed lead to increased retrieval of relevant information. The challenge is that many organizations put the cart before the horse and often skip or curtail the valuable planning stages of a digital project where vocabulary creation or selection can be established.
Here are a couple of informative links featured in Alexander Polonsky’s SLA post that demonstrate the importance of vocabulary in the success of linked data:
- Linked Data at the Library of Congress: http://id.loc.gov/authorities/about.html
- Linked Data presentation from National Library of Sweden: http://code4lib.org/files/LIBRIS_code4lib.pdf