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BiblioHack-ed

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Last month we ran the Open Knowledge Foundation’s largest celebration of open bibliographic data to date. The main focus of the two-day event was to get some hacking done and use the tools the Open Knowledge Foundation has helped to build, or is currently building, for working with bibliographic data, such as BibServer, TEXTUS and BibSoup.

Open GLAM Workshop

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The other component to the two-day event was a one-day workshop for those working in cultural heritage institutions. It included an introduction to some of the basic technical concepts of open data such as APIs and Linked Data, as well as advice from experts in the field on how to prepare your data for a hackathon. The workshop also sought to start conversations with the institutions represented from around London about what the challenges were to opening up more of their collections online and how the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open GLAM initiative could assist in the process.

The write up of the workshop can be found on OpenGLAM.org and over on the Talis Systems website (thank you Tim Hodson!) One highlight of the workshop was Harry Harrold’s brilliant talk on how to get your data ready for a hackathon:

Bibliohack: Preparing your data for a hackathon from UKOLN on Vimeo.

The Hacking

The hacking began with an agreed approach of identifying one unified problem and established the need to create ‘A Bibliographic Toolkit’: bringing together the tools necessary to liberate bibliographic data, make it openly available on the net and to interact with that data.

The main components to this were:

  • Utilising BibServer – adding datasets and using PubCrawler
  • Creating an Open Access Index
  • Developing annotation tools

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Groups identified particular Open Knowledge Foundation projects including TEXTUS and BibServer to find out what they could offer as part of this Toolkit, and looked into other available facilities on the web.

It was so exciting so see people approaching common problems from different angles and finding new ways around problems. One example of this was the TEXTUS group’s new approach to managing bibliographic references and how it can complement approaches to semantic annotation currently being worked on by the DM2E team who were present at the hack. Adrian Pohl and Etienne Posthumus’s attempt to load the whole of German National Bibliography into a Bibserver was another such example.

For some more detailed information on what occurred each day, check out the daily blog reports we wrote over on openbiblio.net:

Big Thanks

We’d like to thank all the groups involved who made the two days such a success, especially DevCSI, UK Discovery DM2E, Open GLAM, Open Biblio and all of the participants.

The OKFN frequently arranges workshops, hackdays and meet-ups, so do keep an eye on this blog and meet-up channel for news of upcoming events.

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