Opening up bibliographic data

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Over the past few years there has been an explosive growth in open data with significant uptake in government, research and elsewhere. Bibliographic records are a key part of our shared cultural heritage. They too should therefore be open, that is, made available to the public for access and reuse under an open licence which permits use and reuse without restriction (http://opendefinition. org/). Doing this promises a variety of benefits. First, it would allow libraries and other managers of bibliographic data to share records more efficiently and improve quality more rapidly through better, easier feedback. Second, through increased innovation in bibliographic services and applications generating benefits for the producers and users of bibliographic data and the wider community.

This talk will cover the what, why and how of open bibliographic data, drawing on direct recent experience such as the development of the Open Biblio Principles and the work of the Bibliographica and JISC OpenBib projects to make the three million records of the British Library’s British National Bibliography (BNB) into linked open data. With a growing number of Government agencies and public institutions making data open, is it now time for the publishing and library community to do likewise?

RUFUS POLLOCK is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, an Associate of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge and a Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation which he co-founded in 2004. He has worked extensively as a scholar and developer on the social, legal and technological issues related to the creation and sharing of knowledge.

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