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Metadata vocabulary alignment: opportunities and challenges

Attempts at one-size-fits-all, universal control of element sets and value vocabularies for representing bibliographic metadata as linked data have failed, and there is now a significant choice of RDF classes and properties and SKOS concepts for describing library and other cultural heritage resources. This allows rich representation of local views of description to be expressed in a global data format. Vocabulary alignment supports the interoperability and re-use of that data, but requires ongoing maintenance if source and target vocabularies are liable to change. This involves synchronization protocols between vocabulary owners, a vocabulary management infrastructure, and a system for data provenance. Alignments must also follow semantic rules, and there is also choice of linked-data architectures to implement and benefit from those rules. The presentation briefly outlines the opportunities afforded by the current situation and discusses what needs to be developed to benefit from them.

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