Creative Commons image by James F. Clay via Flickr

Editors’ Choice: Linked Data Caution

I have been seeing an enormous amount of momentum in the library industry toward “linked data”, often in the form of a fairly ambitious collective project to rebuild much of our infrastructure around data formats built on linked data. I think linked data technology is interesting and can be useful. But I have some concerns about how it appears to me it’s being approached. I worry that “linked data” is being approached as a goal in and of itself, and what it is meant to accomplish (and how it will or could accomplish those things) is being approached somewhat vaguely.  I worry that this linked data campaign is being approached in a risky way from a “project management” point of view, where there’s no way to know if it’s “working” to accomplish it’s goals until the end of a long resource-intensive process.  I worry that there’s an “opportunity cost” to focusing on linked data in itself as a goal, instead of focusing on understanding our patrons needs, and how we can add maximal value for our patrons.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Schneider based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Antonio Jimenez-Munoz, Shayda Schilleman, Rebecca Napolitano, Nathaniel Deines, Covadonga Lamar, Vanessa Stone, Kelly Wall, and Michael Clearwater