|Weekly News Digest
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International Name Authority Project Moves to OCLC
VIAF (Virtual International Authority File), a project that virtually combines multiple name authority files into a single name authority service, has transitioned to become an OCLC service. OCLC will continue to make VIAF openly accessible and will also work to incorporate VIAF into various OCLC services.
This transition from an interim, shared-governance arrangement to OCLC is done in agreement with institutions participating in VIAF. The change has been made to assure that VIAF will be well-positioned to scale efficiently as a long-term, cooperative activity. The transition also assures that http://viaf.org will continue to have an appropriate infrastructure to respond to rising levels of traffic as VIAF gains momentum and popularity as a resource for library authority work and linked data activities.
The institutions contributing to VIAF will continue to help shape VIAF’s direction through participation in a newly formed VIAF council, which will provide guidance on policies, practices, and operation of VIAF. At present, 22 agencies from 19 countries have contributed data to VIAF. Data is contributed on a nonexclusive basis.
Concurrent with the change in governance structure, OCLC has begun moving operational responsibility for VIAF from OCLC Research to OCLC’s production areas. VIAF will continue to be made available through http://viaf.org.
“Matching national authority files for persons and corporate bodies enables their mutual consolidation at the international level,” said Bruno Racine, president of the National Library of France. “VIAF allows the exposure on the Web of highly trusted data, demonstrating the value of authority work done for so many years by national libraries and bibliographic agencies. The new Agreement confirms the free re-use of VIAF data, including the commercial re-use of data according to the ODC-By license. We expect that this broader opening of access to VIAF will encourage multilingualism and the creation of new services beyond the library world, including for data mining, intellectual property rights management, etc.”
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