[open-bibliography] Ex Libris forms expert group on open data in Alma

Karen Coyle kcoyle at kcoyle.net
Thu Aug 11 20:00:15 UTC 2011

Adrian, there isn't a name change -- the group is still working to  
describe open data in Alma -- that was adjectival, not a name.

I'm still trying to figure out the underlying design, but it seems  
that Alma will have a primary database of bibliographic records that  
will be shared among the users and that must be under a PD-type  
license, either CC0 or PDDL. It will also allow local, private  
databases for library records that cannot be shared openly (e.g. ones  
that come to the libraries from the book vendors and have license  
conditions). So each library will have some records in the general  
pool plus a private section of its own, if needed. The Alma policy is  
only about the "community" pool of data.

To me the key thing is that the libraries using Alma can do whatever  
they want with records they have attached their holdings to -- they  
can make them available to anyone. (It is up to them to decide if they  
can share records in their private area.) This is the thing that they  
cannot do with OCLC records. Ex Libris is not claiming any rights in  
anything other than its own software.


Quoting Adrian Pohl <adrian.pohl at okfn.org>:

> Carl Grant from Ex Libris has answered some questions I asked him
> after the announcement of the expert group. I posted his response on
> openbiblio.net and the OKFN blog, see e.g.
> http://openbiblio.net/2011/08/11/ex-libris-alma-and-open-data/.
> By now, he calls the group "Community Zone Advisory Group", the "open
> data" part has disappeared. Nonetheless it seems as if Ex Libris
> really takes an open approach for the new system, as the agreement for
> the Alma community zone "replicates the key terms of the Creative
> Commons PDDL license for customer-contributed records".
> All the best
> Adrian
> 2011/6/23 Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>:
>> On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM, Karen Coyle <kcoyle at kcoyle.net> wrote:
>>> Actually, I know very little about it myself at this point, but I will
>>> provide info when I get it. My goal is to push toward openness of the data,
>>> and I believe that is also the goal of Ex Libris. As a company, they cannot
>>> do anything about "legal" openness, they can only enter into a  
>>> contract with
>>> their users about the data they manage. Making the bibliographic data in
>>> their system open is undoubtedly related to a marketing advantage, but
>>> having a major vendor take up the question, with openness as a goal, is a
>>> good thing.
>>> kc
>> Just to be boringly clear.
>> They may or may not make data more easily accessible and more widely
>> distributed and this may be a good thing. It's the use of the term "Open
>> Data" that is the point. "Open" has often been used as a marketing slogan,
>> like "healthy" or "green". If this term is used, and if this is the goal of
>> the advisory group then nothing less than full Open Data (OKD-compliant)
>> including the format is acceptable. Adopting this stance at the beginning of
>> the project could be useful - aiming for something less is no value for Open
>> Data.
>> P.
>> --
>> Peter Murray-Rust
>> Reader in Molecular Informatics
>> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
>> University of Cambridge
>> CB2 1EW, UK
>> +44-1223-763069
>> _______________________________________________
>> open-bibliography mailing list
>> open-bibliography at lists.okfn.org
>> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-bibliography
> _______________________________________________
> open-bibliography mailing list
> open-bibliography at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-bibliography

Karen Coyle
kcoyle at kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet

More information about the open-bibliography mailing list