One particularly interesting thing I noticed this past month was that tweets about open data, linked data and metadata were starting to come thick and fast from people within my network who sit well outside the library and cultural data domains. In particular the tweets from attendees of the Lasa’s Charity Digital Summit and the ‘Nesta in Manchester’ event about innovation seemed to include a rich vein of tweets about all things open. Perhaps an indicator that open data’s tipping point is approaching?
Some highlights from the world of resource discovery and open data in recent weeks:
- Clay Shirky participated in some high profile advocacy for openness when he delivered his keynote at the recent Educause conference. He argues that the business case for opening up data comes as a result of opening up data – which is not a new assertion but it’s a useful reminder that waiting until there’s a clear business case before taking action could be a riskier strategy than it seems.
- The Programmable Web’s API directory contains 49 APIs and, as well as listing them all, their blogpost highlights some of the mashups that have been created using library APIs.
- There was a great deal of interest in the Rijksmuseum’s recent launch of Rijksstudio which allows anyone to freely download from a choice of 125,000 high-res images from their collection and use the images as they like. They also provide access to their collection’s metadata via an API and their website already lists an impressive number of apps built using their API. You can read our recently published case study on the Rijksmuseum.
- IOP Publishing announced that they have moved to a Creative Commons licence for their open access articles and basic bibliographic metadata, in order to increase the visibility of the research they publish.
Updates from a couple of large-scale projects in Europe and the US:
- As the Europeana Libraries project draws to a close they have taken the opportunity to highlight the achievements of the project and also introduce the next phase of the project: Europeana Cloud, which is set to make a further 2.4 million metadata records available. Europeana also shared a preview of their new search interface which provides an API console that developers can use to build and test search requests.
- The Digital Public Library of America reported on how the initiative has been moving forward and shared their Technical Principles which include a strong commitment to open metadata. Last week they held their first ‘Appfest Hackathon‘ which saw participants envisaging new ways to utilise cultural heritage metadata and content from the DPLA’s digital hubs.
News from Discovery partner organisations:
- Research Libraries UK (RLUK) published their ‘Hidden Collections’ report which focuses on the problem of uncatalogued items held in UK research libraries. From a discovery point of view these items (which are estimated to represent nearly 20% of the libraries book stocks) are simply invisible so it will be interesting to watch the collective initiatives which look set to be launched in order to address the issue at an above-campus level.
- The M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries launched Search25, a ‘regional resource discovery tool’, which enables users to search, locate and obtain resources from any library within the consortium. The tool is just one outcome of the JISC-funded Search25 project which has paved the way for the possible adoption of the Discovery Open Metadata Principles in the future.
- The JISC-funded SPRUCE project (Sustainable PReservation Using Community Engagement) have announced a rough schedule of mashups and hackathons for museum, library and archive professionals which will be taking place next year. The main focus of the events is digital sustainability and previous events have included a strong focus on extracting, aggregating and mapping metadata.
Please note that places are still available for the second of our free Discovery Licensing Clinics on 30 November in London. It is an opportunity for managers and decision makers from libraries, archives and museums to get practical advice on open data licensing from our assembled team of experts.