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Head of Digiatal Collections
Digital Collections Metadata Librarian

UNLV's Linked Data Project

Using Open Refine

By Cory Lampert on June 17, 2014 2:38 PM | Permalink

OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a fantastic tool for cleaning data.  We initially explored the software because we had heard it was a great tool to help us transform our metadata into RDF and because we could reconcile with other data sets like the Library of Congress subjects headings. But even if you are not ready to start creating linked data, OpenRefine is great tool to help clean up your data. 

In our current digital asset management system, CONTENTdm there are lots of things we can't do using the provided Project Client that helps us manage our metadata creation.  We can't make global changes, add fields on the fly, sort in a robust way, see the contents of fields and break apart elements, and our most serious GRIPE....the software does not have an UNDO button in case of mistakes.  Many a time we have "filled down" an entire column ruining hours of work and cursing the software developers for not building this simple function.

Closing the Loop: Linked Data and Users

By Cory Lampert on June 12, 2014 3:56 PM | Permalink

Over the past year we have begun many presentations talking about the potential benefits of linked data. Only recently as we have come to the conclusion of our first year working on the project have we started to see these benefits in truly compelling user interfaces and demonstrable ways. In a recent webinar OCLC put on, there was a mention of the work the Linked Data for Libraries collaboration is doing to investigate use cases for linked data.  This is the first full-scale investigation of its kind (that I have been able to find) and the chart on this page of their wiki is fabulous for helping to better understand the concrete ways that users foresee using linked data for research.

Library Vendors and Linked Data

By Cory Lampert on June 11, 2014 10:59 AM | Permalink

This image comes from the Report of the Stanford Linked Data Workshop

One of the challenges of working on linked data in these early stages of adoption is that there is not an easy way to adopt our current workflow into a new linked-date ready system and completely migrate to an all-linked data world.  For the meantime, then we will be maintaining a parallel structure of creating our digital collections within our digital asset management system and then exporting data from this platform and transforming it into linked data where it is stored in a triplestore and published.  This process does have redundancies, but until we can fully adapt our workflow, systems and user experience to accommodate linked data, there is no other option. There are several strategies that we are undertaking to try and work toward the goal of an integration like this:

The Challenges of Messy Data

By Cory Lampert on June 5, 2014 10:16 AM | Permalink

One of the interesting thing that we have found during the first phase of our project is that the workflow in digital collections is going to need to evolve to accommodate the needs of linked data.  While many tasks are very similar to managing traditional metadata records, the consequences of data quality are much more severe.  In the past, if we did not do quality control on one of our collections, there were no indicators of how this was impacting users.  The systems still (for the most part) would intake messy or inaccurate data, metadata fields were not regulated strictly, and data quality was something we talked about and contemplated, but were not forced to act upon.

Learn More about the UNLV Linked Data Project at ALA Las Vegas 2014

By Cory Lampert on June 4, 2014 9:15 AM | Permalink

We are very excited that the American Library Association Annual Conference is taking place right in our backyard this year.  If you are coming to Las Vegas, please consider attending one of the presentations on the UNLV Linked Data project that we have scheduled.  

Free and good for you! Open Refine, a valuable tool for digital collections managers on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 10:30am to 12:00pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center Exhibit Hall - Poster Session - Poster 12

Taking action: Linked data for digital collection managers on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm Las Vegas Convention Center S222 (slides at the bottom of this page)

Linked Data Elevator Speeches

By Cory Lampert on June 2, 2014 2:26 PM | Permalink

Many of us have begun to learn about linked data and we are eager to share the movement with others. But, have you ever been unexpectedly put on the spot with this familiar question: "So what can you tell me about linked data?" Perhaps, like me, you have found yourself stumbling to define triples, RDF, SPARQL, and predicates and when all else fails resorting to some vague platitude about freeing data from silos as the person politely tries to escape the conversation. The question is NOT easy!  

Taking the #blogjune Challenge

By Cory Lampert on June 2, 2014 1:51 PM | Permalink

Welcome June!  School's out but the UNLV Linked Data Project is going full steam ahead!  We are constantly talking about important pieces of information that we think would be great to post to this blog, but it is amazing how time slips away.  This is why I am taking up the Blog June Challenge - with the hope of posting 30 times this month. It's a big commitment, but my love for linked data is strong! I decided to break the posts into the following categories