David Stuart

Web Analyst and Consultant

Facilitating Access to the Web of Data: a guide for librarians

Posted on | April 2, 2010 | 2 Comments

Two and a half months after I sent off the book proposal, the ink is now drying on the ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ between myself and Facet Publishing: “The publisher of choice for the information professions” and the first one I sent my proposal to. I promise not to be “obscene libellous or defamatory” and they promise to publish my book.

As the title of this blog suggests, the book will be on the web of data. Facilitating Access to the Web of Data: a guide for librarians is currently the provisional title, and pretty well sums up the scope of the book. Increasing quantities of data are being made available online all the time by a variety of organisations and individuals. Most noticeably over the last year, governments throughout the world. Just yesterday saw the opening up of the UK’s Ordnance Survey data. This data has huge potential for researchers, businesses, and the general public, and library and information professionals have an important role to play in making sure it realises its potential.Whereas ‘social media’ and ‘web 2.0′ are the buzz words in organisations today, in six months time it will be the ‘web of data’…at least that’s what I persuaded my publisher.

Having already written one book-length document, in the form of my PhD, I must admit the thought of writing 75,000 words by 6th December 2010 is slightly daunting. But at least this time I will working in a field where there is seemingly a never-ending supply of innovative people creating exciting services.

If you want to know more about the ‘web of data’ and some of the work that is being done, it will be the focus of May’s Black Country Social Media Cafe. The finishing touches are still being made to the cafe’s line-up of speakers, but rest assured I will not be speaking and trying to get advanced orders for my book….unless you really want me to :)


2 Responses to “Facilitating Access to the Web of Data: a guide for librarians”

  1. Tim Davies
    April 5th, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

    Hello Stuart

    Sounds like an essential book – and very much look forward to seeing it in 2011. Wishing it was already around now as I could really do with a text on this (a) this week as I try and muddle through leading a workshop with development librarians on how open data and linked data changes their roles; and (b) working on an MSc thesis around the mediation of government open data down at the OII.

    I had a quick glance at your publications list and past blog posts for any journal articles etc on this topic but couldn’t find anything leaping out. Is there anything you’ve written on this around already?

    Will certainly try and make it up to the May Social Media Cafe if I can. Is a date set yet?

  2. David
    April 20th, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve just written a couple of professional articles on it so far (under the curiously titled ‘in the media’ on the menu bar – distinguishing it from my proper publications).

    In the ‘Programming Librarians’ paper I discuss the need for librarians to embrace the web of data, there’s a short piece on a recent Linked Data meetup – ‘embracing the semantic web’, and at the end of the month another piece is coming out on Linked Data and Government Data.

    Social Media Cafe now set for Tuesday May 18th, details available at http://bcsmc.wordpress.com – hope to see you there.


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Why a Blog?

This blog is for letting people know some of the things I am working on, although it is extremely infrequent. As my writing has expanded from blog posts to professional journal articles, and finally to books, the number of blog posts I write on my various blogs has inevitably tapered off.

Why blog? For me it turned out to be the first step on the road to a book deal!

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