ACAT Linked data, bibliographic data, and the nature of being

On 5/28/2015 4:49 PM, Williams, Ann wrote:
> So, if a patron wanted information say on The Lord of the Rings, instead of only pulling up MARC records and holding records for paper and e-resources with links to text or more information as well as records from subscription databases, they would also pull in information from publishers/jobbers, Wikipedia, Tolkien fan sites, Library of Congress records, IMDB, ? commercial vendors like Amazon? Would there also be a BUY button like Google is adding (Springerlink also does something similar)? So would the result be a web page with a holding record and various links or would the records be replaced by some sort of conglomerate record consisting of some text and links to various sites? Once you get beyond LC, I’d be concerned about the lifespan of the sites providing information. Publishers/jobbers go under or get purchased. Even LC could be under a different mandate in the future: less processing of popular materials for example.

I think you’re right, but it wouldn’t have to work that way. There would be no real compunction to add links to sites we don’t want and Amazon is a good case in point. Many of our users would probably like it. And if Amazon would demand a “Buy now!” button to link into their data, we would probably have to add it.

Another concern I see is if we decide that we want to add links from a specific site, e.g. FOAF or whatever, and *that site* decides to import from all and sundry, we could be importing all of that too. If the linked data universe really becomes popular (it hasn’t yet), there will be more and more pressure to make money from it. And they will find very clever people who will be able to do it.

> Would that mean RDA is no longer relevant, if we’re not inputting much text, just linking? Would we even need vendors supplying catalogs/discovery tools or just search through Google?

Of course, I have my own opinions about RDA. Better or worse, RDA is not at all needed for libraries to get into the linked data universe.

Once libraries implement linked data, it is difficult to see at this point precisely what will be the role of a local catalog or the local discovery tools. If our and everybody else’s records are available through the Googles, or through some other linked data sites, why would someone search a local catalog? Other than catalogers, of course.

Anyway, it seems to me that much (all?) of the highest level of linking will probably be done at the authority record level. By this, I mean that local catalogs will have links to or VIAF and from there the links would go out to dbpedia/wikidata and everything else. Having each library deal with everything would be overwhelming, it seems.

James Weinheimer
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