|Weekly News Digest
June 21, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
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OCLC Adds Linked Data to WorldCat.org
OCLC is taking the first step toward adding linked data to WorldCat by appending Schema.org descriptive mark-up to WorldCat.org pages. With the addition of Schema.org mark-up to all book, journal, and other bibliographic resources in WorldCat.org, the entire publicly available version of WorldCat is now available for use by intelligent web crawlers, such as Google and Bing, that can make use of this metadata in search indexes and other applications.
Commercial developers that rely on web-based services have been exploring ways to exploit the potential of linked data. The Schema.org initiative—launched in 2011 by Google, Bing, and Yahoo! and later joined by Yandex—provides a core vocabulary for mark-up that helps search engines and other web crawlers more directly make use of the underlying data that powers many online services.
OCLC is working with the Schema.org community to develop and add a set of vocabulary extensions to WorldCat data. Schema.org and library-specific extensions will provide a valuable two-way bridge between the library community and the consumer web. Schema.org is working with a number of other industries to provide similar sets of extensions for other specific use cases.
The opportunities that linked data provides to the global library community are in line with OCLC’s core strategy of collaboratively building Webscale with libraries. Adding linked data to WorldCat records makes those records more useful—especially to search engines, developers, and services on the wider web, beyond the library community. This will make it easier for search engines to connect non-library organizations to library data.
Further demonstrating its role in providing linked library data, OCLC has recently announced that the full set of DDC 23—more than 23,000 assignable numbers and captions in English—is now available as linked data.
OCLC is committed to the stability and improved functionality of linked bibliographic data. It is likely that such mark-up may evolve over the coming months as the community develops a common understanding. This release should be considered experimental and subject to change. This linked data release of WorldCat.org is made available by OCLC under the Open Data Commons Attribution License.
Paula J. Hane
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