Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Monday, February 02, 2009

More on OA for bibliographic data

Joshua Ferraro, Beyond Open Source : Other Types of Open, Open Sesame, January 29, 2009.

... Historically, libraries havenít had openly-licensed, community-maintained sources of library metadata. What we do have are:

  • National libraries, and the Library of Congress, that create records and make them available freely via Z39.50 or on CD-ROM. These types of databases are openly-licensed in the sense that they are often public domain and free. However, the databases themselves are tightly managed in a top-down fashion, and often donít contain metadata for many of the materials libraries own.
  • Membership-driven organizations, consortia, and ILS vendors often provide subscription-based access to their comparatively large metadata databases, and let members add and maintain the database. This solves the community-maintained piece, but the underlying data is typically not available to non-members and is viewed as the intellectual property of the organization hosting access to the platform, rather than collectively owned by the users.

The philosophy behind an Open Data movement scarcely needs an explanation to a library audience. The mission of most libraries is to provide open, free access to ideas and information. Certainly that same mission applies to the metadata created BY libraries. If we canít freely share the stuff weíre creating among ourselves, how effective can we possibly be at sharing with our communities? ...

2007 saw the launch of the Open Library project, with a goal of creating Ďa page for every bookí. Libraries responded by donating over 30 million of their MARC Bibliographic Records, making them freely available by uploading them to the Internet Archive, thereby placing them forever into the public domain. Notable additions to the effort were data sets obtained from the Library of Congress (over 7 million records) as well as UK ILS vendor Talis (over 5 million records). Around the same time, The Library of Congress Authority file surfaced publicly in MARCXML format. And LoC itself opened up access to their records via an XML web service (MARCXML) using LCCN as an identifier, making it possible to access newly created and modified records records more easily. ...

[Rich Internet Applications] were all the rave when LibLime was selected as a 2007 Google Summer of Code mentor, and thus was born ábiblios, an open-source web-based metadata editor. Last year LibLime released ábiblios under the GPL and the software is freely available for download from http://biblios.org. ...

ábiblios the editor provides one part of a technology framework for community-maintained data. The other part, a web-scale, production-ready platform where librarians can search, create, share and collaborate, is where ábiblios.net comes in. ábiblios.net is the worldís first community-built and maintained database of freely-licensed library records. Itís more than a cataloging editor, itís a comprehensive cataloging productivity suite ...

Perhaps best of all, not only does ábiblios.net contain freely-licensed library records, the service itself, including the cataloging editor is made available for use at no cost. ...

John Mark Ockerbloom, Open catalog APIs and data: ALA presentation notes posted, Everybodyís Libraries, January 28, 2009.

Iíve now posted my materials for the two panels I participated in at ALA Midwinter.

I have slides available for ďOpening the ILS for Discovery: The Digital Library Federationís ILS-Discovery Interface Recommendationsď, a presentation for LITAís Next Generation Catalog interest group, where I gave an overview of the recommendations and their use. At the same session, Beth Jefferson of BiblioCommons talked about some of the social and legal issues of sharing user content in library catalogs and other discovery applications.

And I have the slides and remarks I prepared for ďOpen Records, Open Possibilitiesď, a presentation for the ALCTS panel on shared bibliographic records and the future of WorldCat. In that one, I argue for more open access to bibliographic records, showing some of the benefits and sustainability strategies of open access models.

Karen Calhoun has also posted the slides from her presentation at that panel. Peter Murray also presented; I havenít yet found his slides online, but heís blogging about what he said. ...

Talis and LibLime Open Data on ábiblios.net, press release, January 30, 2009.

Talis, the UK market leader in providing academic and public library solutions, and LibLime, the leader in open solutions for libraries, are pleased to announce a partnership to make available over five million bibliographic records to the library community on the ábiblios.net platform.

ábiblios.net is LibLime's free browser-based cataloguing service with a data store containing over thirty-million records. The database is maintained by ábiblios.net and uses a similar model to Wikipedia. Cataloguers can use and contribute to the database without restrictions because records in ábiblios.net are freely-licensed under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License.

Talis is providing data from the Talis Union Catalogue; the open shared core of records from the Talis Base service, to ábiblios.net, including over 5 million bibliographic records, catalogued by public and academic libraries in the UK over the last 30 years. ...

Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist at Talis adds "The open sharing of data, the default motivation for most librarians, has often been stifled by confusion and fear about ownership and licensing. Open Data Commons helps clarify and dispel those fears, opening up data that can confidently be shared. ábiblios.net is a great example of the innovation that results when data is really open.Ē ...