Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 3: Three Case Studies in Linked, Open Data

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 3: Three Case Studies in Linked, Open Data

Article excerpt


In chapter 3 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 49, no. 5) "Library Linked Data: Research and Adoption" we explore three current LOD-aware services that focus on serving cultural heritage and memory communities: the Eurapeana digital library, museum, and archive; the Digital Public Library of America; and the BIBFRAME initiative, guided by Library of Congress. The chapter explores the platforms according to the building block model of chapter 2 and uses a case study approach. The examination of high-level similarities and differences reveals a development path for LODLAM services.


In this chapter, we will explore three current LOD-aware services. These services are the Europeana digital library, museum, and archive; the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA); and the BIBFRAME initiative being guided by the Library of Congress. These platforms were selected given the current activity in the community and because of their use of LOD/LOV techniques to aggregate and publish data. As with the LOD/LOV exploration in chapter 2, this chapter uses our metadata building blocks model (data model, content rules, metadata schema, data serialization, and data exchange) as a guideline for exploring the platforms.


Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)



This chapter uses a case study approach that is grounded in a content analysis of the publications and metadata specifications of the services. This focus impacts the data analysis in two ways. First, because these systems are all technically different, they do not give equal weight to each of our five building blocks. Second, because these systems are continuing to develop, these case studies can be considered as snapshots of the services and not necessarily representative of what they will look like in the months and years following this issue.

Our case studies each consist of six sections. Each case study begins with a metadata specification overview, continues with a discussion of each of the five building blocks, and concludes with a community activities section that discusses the current direction of the service. Following the presentation of case study data, our discussion section compares and contrasts these services by exploring the advantages, challenges, and motivations behind the data choices made in these communities.


Metadata Specification Overview

The BIBFRAME initiative grew from a long line of metadata re-envisioning work in the library community that had its first signals in a 2008 report on the future of bibliographic control. (1) These reports helped define the vision of the new bibliographic data exchange standard, and in 2012 the Library of Congress (LoC) partnered with Zepheria to produce a data model that met this vision. (2) The resulting initiative, called BIBFRAME, seeks to translate bibliographic data to a linked data model while also incorporating emerging data standards and models including Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Resource Description and Access (RDA).

Like many of the standards in the LAM community, BIBFRAME seeks to enable cross-domain use and interoperability. BIBFRAME accomplishes this using a linked data framework to describe bibliographic and authority entities as well as relationships among these entities. The model also differentiates between concepts and the physical and digital objects that these concepts describe. (3) The goals and scope of BIBFRAME are quite large, seeking to accommodate "different content models and cataloging rules, exploring new methods of data entry, and evaluating current exchange protocols." (4) The overarching goal of this work is to support a transition to metadata work and services that support engagement and querying of a network of data. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.