ACAT Personal info in authority records

On 8/4/2015 6:22 PM, Brian Briscoe wrote:
> I do not think it is in the best interests of libraries as sources of > accurate and reliable information (not to mention reliable linking to the > data that users are seeking), for us to link to multiple locations for > authority (identities) management. It seems to me that consistent name, > subject, title headings require a singular, consistent source for us to > link to lest we end up with varying levels of information and varying > levels of reliability in our search results. This is the bane of searchers > using the current information search engines. We, as librarians, know that > it can and should be better and we should work toward that end when > BIBFRAME or other MARC replacement comes to fruition.

While I personally agree with you, I honestly do not think this is the sort of question that catalogers should answer. We need to make a catalog *for the users* and I am sure they would want us to include at the very least, Wikipedia in any tools we make. I personally cannot imagine making a linked data tool *without* inclusing Wikipedia (through the linked data portals of dbpedia or wikidata). I mean, if we aren’t supposed to include Wikipedia, what would we include? The VIAF and NAF ids are in Wikipedia already so it seems as if that decision has already been made. Catalogers don’t have a veto, so far as I am aware, and even if we did and used it, I don’t think it would endear us to many inside the library community or the larger world.

Looking at the Wikidata/dbpedia records/instances for Rob Lowe, I see nothing much, but in the Wikidata record for Leo Tolstoy (Wikidata will supplant dbpedia) https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q7243, I see that there is a place for, among other things, such as MusicBrainzID and FindaGraveID, I see that there is a place to include the NNDB ID https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Property:P1263

What sort of information will be included in the future in Wikidata? We don’t know, but one thing we do know: this decision will absolutely *not* be decided by catalogers, or by other librarians. It will be decided by “the Wikidata community”.

To repeat, I am for the linked data initiative, but there will be many difficulties on that road. There seems to be an accepted belief that more links are better and while there may be many instances where that may be true, there are also some other times when it may not be so true.

James Weinheimer weinheimer.jim.l@gmail.com
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One Comment

  1. Ricardo said:

    It seems to me that chances are we are ending up in a time of “spam” linked data. I have already seen some applications pointing that way.

    September 4, 2015

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