Strategies to Support Wider Adoption of Linked Open Data in Smaller Museums
Geddes, Margaret R.
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How will museums tell the stories of their objects in the 21st century in our digitally dominated world? Linked Open Data (LOD) is one avenue to greater sharing of museum materials and embraces the building of new knowledge networks in the semantic web. LOD offers museums new ways to encourage scholarly research, promote interdiciplinarity, and engage new audiences. Recent efforts in the museum community examined in this paper are the work of the American Art Collaborative, ResearchSpace, Pharos, and Europeana, each contributing valuable insight into LOD use within the museum community. Looking beyond the museum community to work being done with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and related data as well as the work of the World Bank to assist countries with the adoption of Open Government principles offers a macro view of open data uses and strategies for collaboration. Collaboration is key to wider adoption of LOD by smaller museums and building a robust support structure through governing organizations, such as the American Alliance of Museums or the International Council on Museums, is a vital element. Creating an environment wherein many smaller museums can contribute their data is essential to building a critical mass of cultural heritage LOD and realizing the potential of cultural heritage data in the semantic web.