Minutes: 12th Virtual Meeting of the OKFN Openbiblio Group

Date June 7th, 2011, 1500 GMT

Channel Meeting was held via Etherpad


  • Adrian Pohl
  • Karen Coyle
  • Jim Pitman
  • Mark MacGillivray
  • Will Waites

Planning an Open Bibliography activity for OKCON

This was the main focus of the call this month. OKCON is on 30th June and 1st July 2011 in Berlin, and we plan to have an Open Bibliography activity at 1530 Berlin time on the Friday afternoon.

There are a lot of possible avenues to explore that are covered in more detail on the pad; I will present here an overview to act as a first draft of the activity plan.

We have identified four areas of work – the ones we go with on the day will probably depend on the interests of the attendees.

BibJSON technical development

  • review the functionality developed for BibServer / BibSoup
  • demonstrate conversions e.g. from BibTex to BibJSON
  • list sources to scrape data from
  • learn how to write new converters for new locations / formats

Language / format / syntax

  • translation issues in BibJSON
  • how best to handle complex content?
  • converting MARC -> XML with XSLT -> BibJSON
  • BibJSON from Zebra or Aleph
  • RDF via Z39.50 – YAZ – http://river.styx.org/ww/2011/06/z39
  • institution/library URIs. Top-down approach of Adrian and Felix? Or bottom-up (mint URIs based on identifiers found in the data rather than in the master list)?

Community engagement

  • Social networking: what existing online places could use open bib data?
  • User options: what do users want to do with open bib data?
  • http://lod-lam.net/summit/2011/06/03/users-uses-service/
  • how could we get users to make open bib data available? e.g. what functionality do they want that we could trade for their participation?
  • Using CKAN as the description and registration hub for bibliographic data (in the wider sense).
  • design (and make?) the T-shirt – e.g. basics of BibJSON, how to approach people for open biblio data


  • How we promote the idea to (say) funding bodies
  • How to involve system vendors, since most libraries have their data in systems they do not control
  • Other collection holders such as individuals, departments, universities, publishers, mendeley, bibsonomy, archives, museums, government organisations
  • What dataset owners to approach and who might be good at doing that, get volunteers to take on particular dataset liberation projects. Sign up sheet?
  • How to organize/authorize that people to approach other groups on behalf of OKF / BKN
  • Using isitopendata.org as the service to use, and targeting FOI responsibilities
  • Publicising successful as well as NO responses on OKF/BKN blog

ELAG 2011 and LOD-LAM Summit

OpenBiblio calls in Italy

There have been skype calls with Stefano Costa, Antonella De Robbio, Francesca di Donato to discuss issues relating to open bibl data in Italy. The quick summary is that bib data is not open at this point for a variety of reasons:

  • in many cases, the rights issues have not been made clear by institutions
  • in addition, libraries often lack the technical ability to make their data available
  • there is an assumption that proprietary library systems = proprietary bibliographic data
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