[open-bibliography] Updating distributed, federated, partially replicated bibliographic databases

Tom Morris tfmorris at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 19:16:11 UTC 2011

Like the XKCD cartoon about standards (http://xkcd.com/927/), it's
pretty clear that the pace of creation of new bibliographic databases
and services isn't going to abate any time soon as people create new
"one true unifying bibliographic database" instances.  Open Library,
Wikipedia, national libraries, Freebase, OCLC, etc will all have one
page per book, modulo duplicates, omissions, errors, and differences
in focus.

As people grab one-time database dumps and republish them,
disconnected from their original source and without any provenance,
the problem will be compounded.

How do we move from a static set of dumps to a dynamic set of update
streams that enable a vibrant ecosystem of cooperatively cataloged
entities?  A centralized OCLC-based monopoly is one solution, but not
a good one, in my opinion.

Is anyone working on enabling such a set of federated catalogs?  Would
anyone like to?


p.s. There's an earlier thread which touches on this topic here:

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