[open-bibliography] OCLC adds Linked Data to WorldCat.org | DDC 23 released as linked data at dewey.info

Karen Coyle kcoyle at kcoyle.net
Sun Jun 24 18:38:46 UTC 2012

On 6/24/12 7:47 AM, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:

> I might upset some purists but I suspect that a collection with the main
> details (as we have listed in the Open Bibliographic Principles -
> author, data, publisher, title) coukld be extremely valuable for a very
> wide range of people who currently don't use bibliography at all. It
> might not be full enough for library management, but it would do very
> well for undergraduates, hobbyists, citation lists in articles, and
> Wikipedia, etc.

The records themselves are not huge, at least not in the native MARC 
format -- they tend to be in the 1K-1.5K range, and by ignoring some of 
the more obscure data would be smaller - perhaps even half that amount. 
It's the sheer number of fields that I think becomes an issue, not so 
much their size. I would guess at an average of 10 fields per record, 
although that depends on how you break out the data (e.g. if published 
date is considered a separate field or part of the same string with the 
publisher name).

> If they expose an API then it should be possible to distribute the load
> of extracting the metadata.

Note that OCLC *does* have an API for worldcat:

I couldn't get through all of the legal jargon to figure out if 1) one 
has to be an OCLC member and 2) what uses were allowed. A non-jargon'd 
explanation would be of great benefit.

This newly announced function, though, is not aimed at API-type 
extraction from the database but instead serves the functions addressed 
by schema.org, which is improved search engine access. If 
Google/Bing/Yahoo do indexing on schema.org fields we should be able to 
actually do an author or title search in Google rather than the 
scattershot keyword search that exists today.


> Of course there is always a problem in making sure this info is
> up-to-date but this is an excellent place to start deploying such systems.
> On the assumption that OCLC want to world to have the totality of their
> data and are looking for suggestions as to how to make that happen, I
> thank them.
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069

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

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