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Connecting the silos: Implementations and perceptions of linked data across European libraries

Pennington, Diane; Cagnazzo, Laura


Laura Cagnazzo


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine how information professionals in Scotland and in European national libraries perceive linked data (LD) as well as if and how they are implementing it. Design/methodology/approach: The authors applied four data collection techniques: a literature review, semi-structured interviews (n=15), online resources analysis (n=26) and an online survey (n=113). They used constant comparative analysis to identify perceived benefits and challenges of LD implementation, reasons behind adoption or non-adoption of LD and the issues hindering its implementation in libraries. Findings: Some projects demonstrate LD’s potential to augment the visibility and discoverability of library data, alongside with overcoming linguistic barriers, and supporting interoperability. However, a strong need remains to demonstrate the Semantic Web’s potential within libraries. Participants identified lack of expertise and lack of resources/time/staff as implementation barriers. Several other issues remain unsolved, such as licensing constraints, as well as difficulties with obtaining management buy-in for LD initiatives, even where open data are government-mandated. Practical implications: Information professionals and vendors should collaborate to develop tools for implementation. Advocacy through disseminating and reviewing successful implementations can help to solve practical difficulties and to obtain management buy-in. Originality/value: This is the first known study to present a multinational, comprehensive picture of library LD implementations and associated librarians’ perceptions of LD.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2019
Publication Date 2019-05
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2023
Journal Journal of Documentation
Print ISSN 0022-0418
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 3
Pages 643-666
Keywords information professionals; linked data; semantic web; linked open data; library data; metadata standards; national libraries; cultural heritage