Skip to main content

Seeding Structured Data by Default via Open Source Library Systems

  • Conference paper
  • 2203 Accesses

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 8465)


Most libraries use the machine-readable cataloguing (MARC) format to encode and exchange metadata about the items they make available to their patrons. Traditional library systems have not published this data on the Semantic Web. However, some agile open source library systems have begun closing this gap by publishing structured data that uses the vocabulary to describe the bibliographic data, make offers for items available for loan, and link the items to their owning libraries. This article distills the lessons learned from implementing structured data in Evergreen, Koha, and VuFind; highlights emerging design patterns for publishing structured data in other library systems; and traces the influence these implementation experiences have had on the evolution of the vocabulary. Finally, we discuss the impact that “the power of the default” publishing of structured data could have on discoverability of library offerings on the Semantic Web.


  • #eswc2014Scott
  • Libraries
  • Structured data
  • MARC formats
  • Open source


  1. Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., Lassila, O.: The semantic web. Scientific American 284(5), 28–37 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Nardi, B.A., O’day, V.: Intelligent agents: what we learned at the library. Libri. 46(2), 59–88 (1996)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Grothkopf, U.: The Internet for Librarians. Vistas in Astronomy 39(2), 137–143 (1995)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. 020 - International Standard Book Number, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  5. OpenURL COinS: A Convention to Embed Bibliographic Metadata in HTML, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  6. UNAPI: An un-API for Webapps, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  7. Jordan, T.: Scalable Structured Markup. In: Google I/O 2011, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  8. Goel, K., Gupta, P.: Introducing Search engines come together for a richer web, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  9. Summers, E.: GoodReads microdata, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  10. Malmsten, M.: Making a Library Catalogue Part of the Semantic Web. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, pp. 146–152 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Linked Data Service of the German National Library,

  12. Simon, A., Wenz, R., Michel, V., Di Mascio, A.: Publishing Bibliographic Records on the Web of Data: Opportunities for the BnF (French National Library). In: Cimiano, P., Corcho, O., Presutti, V., Hollink, L., Rudolph, S. (eds.) ESWC 2013. LNCS, vol. 7882, pp. 563–577. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  13. Ronallo, J.: Embedded Semantic Markup,, the Common Crawl, and Web Data Commons: What Big Web Data Means for Libraries and Archives. Digital Library Federation Forum (2013),

  14. Schwarz, M., Takhteyev, Y.: Half a Century of Public Software Institutions: Open Source as a Solution to Hold Up Problem. Journal of Public Economic Theory 12(4), 609–639 (2010)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Madrian, B.C., Shea, D.F.: The power of suggestion: Inertia in 401 (k) participation and savings behavior. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 116(4), 1149–1187 (2001)

    CrossRef  MATH  Google Scholar 

  16. Bizer, C., Heath, T., Berners-Lee, T.: Linked data–the story so far. International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems 5(3), 1–22 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. Molyneux, R.: Evergreen in Context. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 35(2), 26–30 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. lib-web-cats: A directory of libraries throughout the world (Evergreen), (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  19. Cormack, C., Poulain, P.: Kohacon 2009 Keynote. In: KohaCon 2009 (2009), (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  20. lib-web-cats: A directory of libraries throughout the world (Koha), (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  21. VuFind Change Log, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  22. VuFind Installations, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  23. Denton, W., Coysh, S.J.: Usability testing of VuFind at an academic library. Library Hi Tech. 29(2), 301–319 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  24. Getting started with, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  25. Scott, D.: Microdata: making metadata matter. In: Evergreen International Conference (2013), (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  26. Scott, D.: Add per-library TPAC pages with structured data support, (retrieved January 13, 2014)

  27. W3C Web Schemas, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  28. W3C Schema Bib Extend Community Group, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  29. Hepp, M.: Goodrelations: An ontology for describing products and services offers on the web. In: Gangemi, A., Euzenat, J. (eds.) EKAW 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5268, pp. 329–346. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  30. Thing / Intangible / Offer, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  31. Broaden Offer usage, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  32. Scott, D.: Re: Support non-commercial usage of - RDF(S) patch, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  33. D’Arcus, B., Giasson, F.: Bibliographic Ontology Specification, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  34. Bang, C.: CreativeWork can’t be a Product? (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  35. Scott, D.: Re: Proposal: Audiobook, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  36. Deering, D.: Google+ Semantic Search Marketing community post, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  37. Proposal for Periodicals, Articles and Multi-volume Works, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  38. Frequently Asked Questions, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  39. Brickley, D.: MiniSKOS proposal: add Topic, an equivalentClass to skos:Concept, and relate schema properties to it, (retrieved March 5, 2014)

  40. Lunau, C.: The Virtual Canadian Union Catalogue Project (vCuc). Resource Sharing & Information Networks 14(2), 21–35 (1999)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  41. OCLC and Google to exchange data, link digitized books to WorldCat, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  42. Library of Congress: Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  43. Library of Congress: Linked Data Service, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

  44. VIAF: The Virtual International Authority File, (retrieved January 12, 2014)

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this paper

Cite this paper

Scott, D. (2014). Seeding Structured Data by Default via Open Source Library Systems. In: Presutti, V., d’Amato, C., Gandon, F., d’Aquin, M., Staab, S., Tordai, A. (eds) The Semantic Web: Trends and Challenges. ESWC 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8465. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-07442-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-07443-6

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)