Friday, January 28, 2005

The Digital Librarian

SIMILE: Practical Metadata for the Semantic Web "Like any good system developed in collaboration with a research library, DSpace manages metadata about the content it manages and distributes on the web. However, its metadata support is currently limited to the general but relatively small Dublin Core descriptive metadata schema. In the future, DSpace needs to support additional metadata schemas for a variety of purposes: finding digital research material described in various, domain-specific ways, and managing that digital content over time in order to preserve it. As DSpace expands to use new metadata schemas, it will have to deal with the problem of interoperability.

Enter the Semantic Web and extensible metadata. The Semantic Web Core stack — RDF, RDFS, and OWL — enables people to create ontologies to describe their specialized metadata (perhaps building on existing, more general ontologies) and to make them generally reusable. But most people are not trained Semantic Web developers. They are going to need some tools for this and also to be able to assess whether they did the job correctly."

"For users, can we design faceted browsing interfaces that scale to dozens of RDF ontologies? How about improving navigation across the linkages between ontologies? How can we support searching that will start in one domain/ontology and expand into relevant related domains/ontologies?"
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