Summary: in this post I talk about an experimental semantic website for describing what I’m calling ‘research context’, wondering if such as site can be used as a ‘source of truth’ for metadata entry, for example when someone is uploading a file into a research data repository. The post assumes some knowledge of linked data and RDF and/or an interest in eResearch software architecture. Thanks to twitter correspondents Jodi Schneider, Kristi Holmes and Christopher Gutteridge.
On Friday 7th September I attended a meeting at Intersect about metadata vocabularies for managing research data, in the context of projects sponsored by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). Ingrid Mason asked me to talk about my experiences describing research data. I approached this by starting with a run-through of the talk Peter Bugeia and I put together for Open Repositories with an emphasis on our attempts to use Linked Data principles for metadata. In this work we encountered two big problems, which I brought to the round-table session as questions.
It’s really hard to work out which ontology, or set of vocabulary terms to use to describe research context. Take ‘experiment’ what is a good linked data term for that?
Q. What to use as a URI for an experiment?
In trying to build linked-data systems I have not found any easy to use tools. (I got lots of useful leads from Kristy Holmes and Jodi Schneider on Twitter, more on that below).
Q. Where’s my semantic web!
Answers at the end of the post, but you have to read the whole thing anyway.