The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has received a $49,500 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct an in-depth survey of publications, projects, tools, and environments pertaining to semantic web, linked data, and RDF triples technologies. Simultaneously, Stanford University Libraries has received a parallel grant of $50,000 to conduct an invitational workshop intended to incorporate the results of the CLIR survey into a design for a scalable prototype system.
Linked data offers libraries, universities, and scholarly projects improved ability to cross-search and discover digital information. The survey will provide background for participants in a workshop to be held at Stanford University Libraries in summer 2011 that aims to develop specifications, requirements, and a basic technical design for a multinational, multi-institutional prototype demonstrating the viability and efficacy of a linked data environment for improving discovery and navigation. CLIR will publish the survey report following the workshop. The documents emerging from the workshop will also be published online.
“This is a significant grant for CLIR/DLF, as it builds upon our history of rigorous research and analysis of issues that are fundamentally important to our constituencies, as well as marking a new direction,” said CLIR President Chuck Henry. “Linked data has the potential to align and federate digital resources across thousands of institutions. It is thus an aspect of large-scale solutions that CLIR has placed at the core of its strategic mission.”
“We are at a point where the need is for leading libraries to get real about this technology,” commented Stanford University Librarian Mike Keller. “Using the CLIR study as a baseline for the state of the art, we intend to come out of the workshop with concrete, actionable plans for collaborative, distributed development of metadata conversion tools, as well as for access and visualization tools.”