[tdwg] NISO/DCMI Webinar with Thomas Hickey: Cooperative Authority Control

DCMI Announce announce at dublincore.net
Wed Nov 13 12:35:02 CET 2013

***Please excuse the cross-posting***

NISO/DCMI Webinar: Cooperative Authority Control
PRESENTER: Thomas Hickey, OCLC Research

DATE: December 4, 2013
TIME: 1:00pm - 2:30pm Eastern (18:00-19:30 UTC) World Clock:


Libraries around the world have a long tradition of maintaining authority
files to assure the consistent presentation and indexing of names. As
library authority files have become available online, the authority data
has become accessible -- and many have been published as Linked Open Data
(LOD) -- but names in one library authority file typically had no link to
corresponding records for persons and organizations in other library
authority files. After a successful experiment in matching the Library of
Congress/NACO authority file with the German National Library's authority
file, an online system called the Virtual International Authority File
(VIAF) [1] was developed to facilitate sharing by ingesting, matching, and
displaying the relations between records in multiple authority files.

VIAF has grown from three source files in 2007 to more than two dozen files
today. The system harvests authority records, enhances them with
bibliographic information and brings them together into clusters when it is
confident the records describe the same identity. Although the most visible
part of VIAF is a HTML interface, the API beneath it supports a linked data
view of VIAF with URIs representing the identities themselves, not just
URIs for the clusters. It supports names for person, corporations,
geographic entities, works, and expressions. With English, French, German,
Spanish interfaces (and a Japanese in process), the system is used around
the world, with over a million queries per day.

The service harvests some 30 million authority records, enhances them with
information from 100 million bibliographic records to produce a file of 20+
million clusters, each representing a person, organization, jurisdiction,
work, or expression. In addition to supporting a Web browser HTML
interface, the API to VIAF supports content negotiation for other views,
such as RDF-XML and MARC-21. Bulk dumps of the VIAF clusters are available
under the ODC-By attribution license.

The Webinar will cover some of the challenges VIAF meets in dealing with
many different formats and approaches to describing identities, the
relationship of VIAF to the source authority files, to other identity
systems such as ORCID and ISNI, VIAF's approach to sustainability,
governance and persistence, and how ambiguity is recognized and managed.


Thomas Hickey [2] is Chief Scientist at OCLC where he helped found OCLC
Research. Current interests include metadata creation and editing systems,
authority control, parallel systems for bibliographic processing, and
information retrieval and display. In addition to implementing VIAF, his
group looks into exploring Web access to metadata, identification of FRBR
works and expressions in WorldCat, the algorithmic creation of authorities,
and the characterization of collections. He has an undergraduate degree in
Physics and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science.


Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm
Eastern (17:00 UTC) on December 4, 2013. Discounts are available for NISO
and DCMI members and students.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage:

[1] http://viaf.org/
[2] http://www.oclc.org/research/people/hickeyt.html
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