It’s all about the business case

Andy McGregor, the JISC Programme Manager explains:

Why are libraries around the world devoting time and resources to releasing their bibliographic data under an open licence? What’s in it for them and what are the costs and practical issues involved? JISC’s purpose for this guide is to try and provide some answers to these questions and to help academic librarians think about the potential implications for their own library.

One of the possibilities that open bibliographic data offers is the chance for libraries and indeed anyone to reuse the data to build innovative services for researchers, teachers, students and librarians. JISC will be exploring these possibilities through the work of the Resource Discovery Task Force.

The Guide to Open Bibliographic Data has been developed by JISC on behalf of its partners in the Resource Discovery Task Force. It is about the business cases for Open Bibliographic Data – releasing some or all of a library’s catalogue records for open use and re-use by others.

The advice is both general and specific. The guide seeks to clarify in general terms and also in the context of 17 specific Use Cases:

  • How to license the data
  • Legal issues to be considered
  • Potential costs and savings
  • Practical implications in terms of processes, effort and skills
  • Data formats and other technical options

These Use Cases cover things you might already do or plan to do as you develop your library service. The Guide provides the rationale and the potential ripple effects of doing those things based on Open Data.

What now?

Check out the Use Case list – your starting point may be the ones you recognise as part of your current mission or as possible developments on your service roadmap.

However, before looking at the Use Cases, you might like to read the introductions Why do it and Rights & Licensing or our Open History of how we’ve reached this opportune point in library service development.

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