After swearing off any JISC funded projects into Open Data publishing, I’ve somehow found myself involved in four this year. Safe to say my new years resolutions include learning how to say no in a better fashion.
The first to kick off in earnest is Open Bibliography 2 headed by the Open Bibliographic Data Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation, with Cambridge University Library as a partner.
If you’ve not chanced upon it, Open Bibliography is fascinating concept encompassing software, data and working practices around a belief in a core, pragmatic description of a work that cannot be realistically copyrighted. This is enshrined in a set of Open Bibliography principles.
The key software output will be BibServer, an Open Source tool to quickly and easily publish personal and group bibliographies of one to many thousand records in size. Its got a working version already available to the public in the form of BibSoup (be it one in rapid development). Peter Murrary-Rust has already blogged an excellent introduction to the software and underlying concepts.
The project will also see the release of more open bibliographic data with a focus in the STM sector. Along with full text, libraries spend a lot of money on ‘pure data’ services, from simple subject indexes to large web scale discovery solutions. Opening up the underlying datasets and providing new open source alternatives to services around it could improve competition in the marketplace by driving up levels of innovation amongst vendors.
As well as contributing to a really interesting development, one of the key benefits for myself and hopefully my employers will be in working closely with researchers at a number of levels to better gage their requirements for discovery, publishing and management of bibliographic resources.