Connecting the silos : implementations and perceptions of linked data across European libraries

Pennington, Diane and Cagnazzo, Laura (2019) Connecting the silos : implementations and perceptions of linked data across European libraries. Journal of Documentation, 75 (3). pp. 643-666. ISSN 0022-0418 (

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine how information professionals in Scotland and in European national libraries perceive linked data (LD) as well as if and how they are implementing it. Design/methodology/approach: The authors applied four data collection techniques: a literature review, semi-structured interviews (n=15), online resources analysis (n=26) and an online survey (n=113). They used constant comparative analysis to identify perceived benefits and challenges of LD implementation, reasons behind adoption or non-adoption of LD and the issues hindering its implementation in libraries. Findings: Some projects demonstrate LD’s potential to augment the visibility and discoverability of library data, alongside with overcoming linguistic barriers, and supporting interoperability. However, a strong need remains to demonstrate the Semantic Web’s potential within libraries. Participants identified lack of expertise and lack of resources/time/staff as implementation barriers. Several other issues remain unsolved, such as licensing constraints, as well as difficulties with obtaining management buy-in for LD initiatives, even where open data are government-mandated. Practical implications: Information professionals and vendors should collaborate to develop tools for implementation. Advocacy through disseminating and reviewing successful implementations can help to solve practical difficulties and to obtain management buy-in. Originality/value: This is the first known study to present a multinational, comprehensive picture of library LD implementations and associated librarians’ perceptions of LD.


Pennington, Diane ORCID logoORCID: and Cagnazzo, Laura;