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Curation of LOD

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These are the session notes (sketchy I’m afraid) for the discussion on curation of linked open data on day 1 of the 2013 LODLAM summit in Montreal.  There are multiple ways to look at curation and that can be seen in the different slants brought into the mix – curation of the data that the agency or person has (and its state or fitness for reuse and supply) and the data that it is desirable to link to (why and what does that mean).  It is no surprise that questions of control and authority emerged and questions around reliance and co-contribution.  What is the perfect combination and how long will those combinations of data complement each other?

Moules, frites, bière

Moules, frites, bière
CC-BY Ingrid Mason


The wording in (brackets) is mine from recall.  Please feel free to comment and correct me if I’ve misinterpreted the notes.

  • Who to link to? (whose data to link the data you have to)
  • Why link to them? (is there a working relationship, how much prior collaboration, does this matter?)
  • How good they are? (what is the quality of the LOD you want to use and its relevance to your data?)
  • Who to trust may change over time?
  • Multiple suppliers of data (what to choose?)
  • Ecosystem (developing and changing)
  • Engagement of the curator in the ecosystem
  • Mediator, editor and value add through curation (to the use of LOD)
  • Mappings between different ontologies not just controlled vocabularies
  • Identity – automated linking (issues?)
  • Is VIAF a big enough grid? c/- IFLA hosted by OCLC
  • Wide reliance in (north American) libraries, e.g. OCLC example (Australia has the NLA People Australia service and there is ORCID too)
  • Linking is curation!
  • Is shared curation possible?
  • Institutional support – local, national and global linkages (follow culture, history, economics, language, trade routes and politics and there will be links?)
  • Whose requirements are being met?
  • Who pays for curation?
  • Who or what is a curator (of LOD)?
  • Curating what? (is it the data and the meaning or the interfaces too and the user experience of search and discovery too?)
  • Persistent URI exist as long as the web exists
  • Quid pro quo – get it (LOD) out quick to get it improved (co-contribution of correction or uptake for testing?)
  • !! Editorial decisions of the consuming organisation !! (of LOD) (this is curation?)
  • “publishing (LOD) with the authority of the institution” (surely this is curation?)
  • Some access is better than no access (is that always true?)
  • Data always links with a person (?) (multiple links to data sources provides diversity and useful redundancy?)
  • Open curation to the masses
  • Curation ups the quality but need good processes to help with cleaning or correction
  • Pressure on public institutions to participate in the commons
  • There is a social dimension between the curator, the community and the LOD ecosystem
  • Can use redundancy (see as an opportunity) to track errors, support consensus, and self-helping
  • Unattributed assertions (how to manage these, whether to integrate these, or not to allow them?)
  • Bidirectional (is this always the case, you link to me, I link to you?)
  • Embrace messiness and get over control issues (provide notices where the data hasn’t been checked or gone through curation process?)
  • (Use LOD) to provide supplementary information (see BBC Music)
  • Encode linking and curation as LOD, use W3C PROV-O ontology for provenance
  • Social quality – link Geodata – use: ID, City, Picture, Depiction
  • Example: OpenStreetMap
  • Buddy up with citizen curator (akin to citizen scientists)
  • BBC Wildlife trust of Wikipedia content, it filled in the gaps
  • See: Connecting the Smithsonian American Art Museum to Linked Data Cloud (US artists)
  • Flavours of LOD from well maintained and quality controlled provenance data to anonymous
  • Issues around how you present your LOD
  • Consumers’ may trust organisations may not always want to trace it (the LOD)
  • Attribution and usage (don’t conflate these two concepts for dealing with rights)
  • CC0 is “no rights reserved” effectively releasing the work into the public domain whereas CC-BY-NC is an acknowlegement of copyright and defines the nature of the use (as a licence) requiring attribution and non-commercial use
  • Note CC0 likely does not apply under Australian law and possibly also not New Zealand

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