Publishing a Knowledge Organization System as Linked Data. The Case of the Universal Decimal Classification (Chapter 5)

Aida Slavic, Ronald Siebes, Andrea Scharnhorst

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Linked data (LD) technology is hailed as a long-awaited solution in web-based information exchange. Linked Open Data (LOD) bring this to another level by enabling meaningful linking of resources and creating a global, openly accessible knowledge graph. Our case is the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) and the challenges
for a KOS service provider to maintain an LD service. UDC was created during the period 1896-1904 to support systematic organization and information retrieval of a bibliography. When discussing UDC as LD we make a distinction between two types of UDC data or two provenances: UDC source data, and UDC codes as they appear
in metadata. To serve the purpose of supplying semantics one has to front-end UDC LD with a service that can parse and interpret complex UDC strings. While the use of UDC is free the publishing and distributing of UDC data is protected by a licence. Publishing of UDC both as LD and as LOD must be provided for within a complex
service that would allow open access as well as access through a paywall barrier for different levels of licences. The practical task of publishing the UDC as LOD was informed by the “10Things guidelines.” The process includes conceptual parts and technological parts. The transition to a new technology is never a purely mechanical
act but is a research endeavour in its own right. The UDC case has shown the importance of cross-domain, interdisciplinary collaboration which needs experts well situated in multiple knowledge domains.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLinking Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationLinked Open Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization
EditorsRichard P. Smiraglia, Andrea Scharnhorst
PublisherErgon – ein Verlag in der Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-95650-661-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-95650-660-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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