The following post is by Mark McGillivrary, a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data.

Last week the Open Biblio Principles were launched by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. The principles are the product of six months of development and discussion within the working group and the wider bibliographic community:

Producers of bibliographic data such as libraries, publishers, universities, scholars or social reference management communities have an important role in supporting the advance of humanity’s knowledge. For society to reap the full benefits from bibliographic endeavours, it is imperative that bibliographic data be made open — that is available for anyone to use and re-use freely for any purpose.

As this makes clear, the principles have a simple message: make bibliographic data open data as defined by the Specifically, there are 4 core principles:

  1. When publishing bibliographic data make an explicit and robust license statement.
  2. Use a recognized waiver or license that is appropriate for data.
  3. If you want your data to be effectively used and added to by others it should be open as defined by the Open Definition ( – in particular non-commercial and other restrictive clauses should not be used.
  4. Where possible, explicitly place bibliographic data in the Public Domain via PDDL or CC0.

You can read the full version of the principles at:

And, perhaps even more importantly, you can endorse them:

Please help us spread the word, and the links, to individuals and organisations across the academic, library and publisher community.

Lastly, we are also working on alternative language versions so if you are interested in doing a translation please leave a comment or email mark [dot] macgillivrary [at] okfn [dot] org.

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Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.

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