The UNLV’s Linked Data Project emerged from a study group that we created at the University Libraries in April 2012. Professionals from various areas of the Library volunteered to participate in the study group. We met various times to watch webinars on linked data and discuss linked data concepts. We also attended presentation and pre-conferences on the topic. After 6 months of these activities, we proposed to the Library Administration an exploratory project with the following goals:
- Study the feasibility of developing a common process that would allow the transformation of our collection records into linked data preserving their original expressivity and richness
- Publish data from our digital collections in the Linked Open Data Cloud to improve discoverability and connections with other related data sets on the Web
This project is be guided by the following questions:
- Is it feasible to create a common approach to transform metadata into linked data given that digital collections commonly adopt different metadata element sets?
- Is it possible to keep the richness and expressivity of our digital collection metadata using linked data?
- What model, if any, would be helpful in guiding this transformation?
- What available technologies would be useful to transform metadata into data?
- How the generation of linked data affects current workflows for managing digital collections?
The Library Administration provided fiancial support for the project and in the summer 2013 we hired a graduate student for a year to help us with the implementation of the project.
The project comprises 6 phases:
1. Literature Review
2. Evaluation of available technologies
3. Preparation of the metadata for the transformation
4. Transformation of digital collections metadata into linked data (RDF files)
5. Publishing our data as Linked Open Data
6. Assess the project results from users’ perspectives
The project is team members are:
Silvia Southwick, Digital Collections Metadata Librarian
Cory Lampert, Head of Digital Collections
Sara Azarpanah, graduate assistant