Episode 2, SUNCAT: Notes from initial chat

Questions about use cases for the data; what the benefits are to end users or to libraries.
Something we have to work on formulating with data in hand. Morag mentions a 2005 document discussing SUNCAT use cases.

One suggested usage is deriving information about the focus and specialisms of libraries, by extending library subject metadata using journal/article subject metadata – so identifying the bent of universities through the holdings of their libraries.

Another immediate usage is linking bibliographic datasets of journal articles, to journal issues and journal information found in SUNCAT. Medline is a useful example of dataset that can be integrated – work on Linked, Open Medline metadata happening through the OpenBiblio project.

SUNCAT holds a record for each institution, its library location, and this could helpfully be linked to the OARJ Linked Data for institutions, and the JISC CETIS PROD work collecting different sources of UK HE/FE information.

Sources in SUNCAT may have an OID which could be re-used as part of a URI. Journals both electronic and hardcopy also (though not always) have ISSNs.
There are restrictions on re-use of data licensed from the ISSN Network, but one can get some of it from other sources – CONSER is a North-America-focused example, with a bit of a scientific bent (thus useful for Medline).

SUNCAT uses OpenURL to search for journal articles and holdings data in institutional libraries. Libraries run an “OpenURL resolver” – often with a bit of proprietary software such as SFX – to map OpenURLs to stuff in their holdings. Would be interesting to find out more about the inside of an OpenURL resolver and how useful a Linked Data rendering of it would be…

Surprised to learn that university libraries often don’t maintain their own subscription database; journals are bought in “bundles” whose contents are shifting, and libraries depend on vendors to sell them back their processed catalogue data.

SUNCAT contains a dataset describing libraries their affiliations and locations, held in a set of text files. This would be a good place to start with a simple Linked Data model that we can link up to the outcome of the previous LDFocus sprint, and then work on connecting up the library holdings data.

Starting a separate notepad for SUNCAT links. Should have done this earlier, been busy about the new release of Unlock and the wrap-up of the Chalice project

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