06  Open Bibliographic Data: Licensing. Activities. Strategies

Adrian Pohl


Audience: Everybody interested in Open Knowledge and/or working with large amounts of library and journal article data


Short description: Open Data is an integral part of Linked Open Data[1] and thus the same priority should be attached to licensing data as to producing Linked Data. The first part of this workshop focusses on legal questions concerning open bibliographic data (be it library catalog data or journal article data): What is open data? Are there intellectual property rights associated with library data and - if so - which? How does data - legally - differ from software and content? Which licenses are appropriate for (open) data?[2]


In the second part activities in the realm of open bibliographic data in general and specifically open library data are highlighted. Several libraries and related instituitions - especially in Europe - by now have already opened up (part of) their data.[3] Also, librarians, developers and scientists are promoting Open Bibliographic Data in a working group within the Open Knowledge Foundation[4] and have released Principles on Open Bibliographic Data[5] in January.

Questions to be adressed include: What are their motivations? What happens to this data? Where can I find open data sets?

In the end, the workshop participants discuss strategies for broadening an open data practice. Questions like “How do I persuade decision makers to open up data?” are discussed to foster a future where bibliographic data is openly available for unrestricted use by libraries, scholars and the wider public.


Workshop outcomes:

Participants have a basic understanding of the legal questions and related problems regarding open licensing of bibliographic data.

Participants can orient themselves in the existent open bibliographic data community and know strategies for fostering open bibliographic data.



[1] http://lab.linkeddata.deri.ie/2010/star-scheme-by-example/

[2] The workshop leader is no lawyer and national IP laws differ and many legal questions were never treated by a court. Thus, this workshop can only give some basic orientation but no definite answers.

[3] http://ckan.net/group/bibliographic

[4] http://wiki.okfn.org/wg/bibliography

[5] http://openbiblio.net/principles/


Other Resources

JISC Open Bibliographic Data Guide: http://obd.jisc.ac.uk/ Flyer on Open Library Data:




Editor: Milan Janíček
Last modified: 20.2. 2011 12:02  
Contact: +420 232 002 515, milan.janicek@techlib.cz