I'm very proud to announce that Library Services at the University of Huddersfield has just done something that would have perhaps been unthinkable a few years ago: we've just released a major portion of our book circulation and recommendation data under an Open Data Commons/CC0 licence. In total, there's data for over 80,000 titles derived from a pool of just under 3 million circulation transactions spanning a 13 year period.
I would like to lay down a challenge to every other library in the world to consider doing the same. ...
[I]f just a small number of other libraries were to release their data as well, we'd be able to begin seeing the wider trends in borrowing.
The data we've released essentially comes in two big chunks:
Circulation Data: This breaks down the loans by year, by academic school, and by individual academic courses. This data will primarily be of interest to other academic libraries. UK academic libraries may be able to directly compare borrowing by matching up their courses against ours (using the UCAS course codes).
Recommendation Data: This is the data which drives the "people who borrowed this, also borrowed…" suggestions in our OPAC. This data had previously been exposed as a web service with a non-commercial licence, but is now freely available for you to download. We've also included data about the number of times the suggested title was borrowed before, at the same time, or afterwards. ...
All of the data is in XML format and, in the coming weeks, I'm intending to create a number of web services and APIs which can be used to fetch subsets of the data. ...
Now it's up to you to think about whether or not you can augment this with data from your own library. If you can't, I want to know what the barriers to sharing are. Then I want to know how we can break down those barriers.
I want you to imagine a world where a first year undergraduate psychology student can run a search on your OPAC and have the results ranked by the most popular titles as borrowed by their peers on similar courses around the globe.
I want you to imagine a book recommendation service that makes Amazon's look amateurish.
I want you to imagine a collection development tool that can tap into the latest borrowing trends at a regional, national and international level. ...
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.