Transforming metadata into linked data to improve digital collection discoverability

A CONTENTdm pilot project
Information retrieval Digital curation Information resources management Linked data Data management Metadata

In the CONTENTdm Linked Data Pilot project, OCLC partnered with institutions that manage their digital collections with OCLC’s CONTENTdm service to investigate methods for—and the feasibility of—transforming metadata into linked data to improve the discoverability and management of digitised cultural materials and their descriptions.

This report describes the course of the project and its primary areas of investigation and summarises key findings and conclusions generated by the collaborative study.

The pilot focused on developing efficient workflows for transforming metadata, evaluating existing interfaces to leverage linked data, and testing applications built in the Wikibase environment for managing the newly created linked data.

While the pilot project findings are based on a limited set of institutions and collections, they strongly suggest that there is significant potential for improved discovery and more efficient data management when the materials that have been digitised are described using a shared data model, where headings are associated with linked data entities and relationships, and when the entities and relationships are brought together into a single aggregation.

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