Versioning Vocabularies in a Linked Data World
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Hillmann, Diane I.; Dunsire, Gordon; Phipps, Jon
Policies regarding change management in open or public vocabularies used in the context of Linked Open Data have lagged behind those driving other web-based communities of practice. A fresh emphasis on vocabulary management and maintenance has begun to emerge, as the reliance on potentially volatile vocabularies, and the implications of their ongoing growth and change, has begun to permeate the conversation. Particularly in libraries, where management of commonly used vocabularies has long been a community-wide activity, management of vocabularies has been seen as the realm of larger institutions and organizations. This centralized control has been workable (if slow to evolve to incorporate new needs) so long as data distribution has also been centralized, but this pattern of distribution has become more questionable as a transition to the more open world of linked data begins to demonstrate the inflexibility of traditional practices. As more attention shifts to new vocabulary standards and usages outside libraries, researchers and innovative organizations have sought to take advantage of this boom in interest, but unlike librarians, they have little experience in implementation over time. Merging the technology of the Semantic Web with the information management experience of libraries seems a reasonable strategy, but better understanding by all of where practices must change is critical.
Submitted for and presented to the IFLA 2014 satellite meeting on Linked Open Data in Paris, France, August, 2014.