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Penn Libraries Linked Data Framework: Supporting Penn Libraries Strategic Objectives

3. Supporting Penn Libraries Strategic Objectives

Our linked data strategy needs to be tied to the overall strategy of the library.  The library’s current strategic plan, and the strategic teams chartered under it, have goals that can be met by linked data initiatives.  Some of these goals include

  • Opening Penn scholarship to new constituencies via new partnerships, improved workflows, and expanded interfaces.  As noted in the previous section, we have done some preliminary work on this in linked data by creating entities for Penn scholars, centers, and departments in Wikidata.  These can be linked to the growing corpus of information on scholarly publications in Wikidata, making them more discoverable.  If that linked data is further extended with links to copies of publications by Penn scholars in our repositories, it also makes them more widely accessible.
  • Committing to diversity, equity and inclusion. One of the ways this has manifested in the current strategic plan is in the work of the DEI and Discovery working group, which has worked on adopting more respectful terminology in the Libraries’ descriptive metadata in areas where standard vocabularies like the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) have fallen short.  Linked data can help coordinate this work with similar work at other institutions, and with further development in LCSH itself.  We have had discussions with other libraries about possible managing alternatives to Library of Congress Subject Headings in a collaboratively edited Wikibase.  We have also used linked data exports from the Library of Congress to update metadata in some of our projects (such as in The Online Books Page) as improvements recommended by DEI and Discovery and similar groups have made it into newer versions of LCSH.
  • Enhancing and expanding our digital scholarship support has included initiatives like the Collections as Data subteam of the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship.  That team as considered using the data mining Platform for Open Data (POD) records that have linked data subject references. The data are available from a web API (Annif) running in a Docker container.

As the Penn Libraries prepare for a new round of strategic planning in the coming year, we will further evolve our linked data strategies to ensure that they support and fulfill the strategic goals we adopt for the coming strategic plan period.

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