[ckan-discuss] data.open.ac.uk

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Fri Nov 26 12:28:58 GMT 2010

Paul: do you know who is behind this? I'd be very interested in
chatting to them at some point about interoperability with CKAN! ;-)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Of possible interest to list members.

-----Original Message-----
From: Maike Bohn [mailto:m.bohn at JISC.AC.UK]
Sent: 18 November 2010 14:58
Subject: News release: The Open University embraces the Linked Open Data

The Open University is the first university in the UK to open up access
to online data from across the institution as part of the Linked Open
Data Movement.

The JISC-funded OU's LUCERO (Linking University Content for Education
and Research Online) project has enabled information stored across many
of the university's websites to be brought together in a common, openly
accessible location: data.open.ac.uk.

Data about the OU's courses, podcasts on iTunes U and academic
publications is already available to be queried and explored, and the
team is now working to bring together educational and research content
from the university's OpenLearn and library material. At present, this
mostly represents a technical platform. However, it will make it
possible for the OU and others to create new applications to search and
make use of the data.

"What this means," explained David Matthewman, Chief Information Officer
at The Open University, "is that members of the public, students,
researchers and organisations will be able to easily search, extract
and, more importantly, reuse The Open University's information and data.

"Universities need to evolve the way they expose knowledge, share
content and engage with learners. We see emerging technologies such as
'linked data' as an exciting opportunity for the higher education
community. As the first university to make its data available in this
way, we hope other universities will be able to use our knowledge and
experience to do the same."

Mathieu d'Aquin, Research Fellow at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
at The Open University, said: "The data is there, and already visible,
but in many different places, systems and databases. By exposing it as
linked data on data.open.ac.uk, we make it accessible and exploitable,
and open to uses that we don't have to dictate.

"The idea of 'linked data', as advocated in particular by Sir Tim
Berners Lee, inventor of the Web, is that the Web should be seen as a
medium for structured, interlinked and machine-processable information,
as much as, in its current form, a network of documents presenting the
information. LUCERO is The Open University making the initial step on
behalf of UK universities to contribute to what was the original
intention behind a World Wide Web."

Linked data is a set of technological principles to expose on the Web
not only web pages containing information, but also the underlying data
in a way which is directly linkable and reusable. In embracing such
principles, The Open University joins organisations such as the UK, US
and Australian governments, and international media outlets, such as the
BBC and the New York Times.

David Flanders, Programme Manager, Information Environment at JISC,
said: "This new centralised-data-watering-pump is the first launched of
its kind in UK universities and should be celebrated accordingly. (...)
hopefully this is the first of many data.foo.ac.uk to come."

For more information visit:

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


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