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DISCLAIMER: This site is NOT an official JISC site but rather the notebook-wiki for the jiscEXPO Programme Manager (David) to keep track of the various projects taking place within this programme. As this is a notebook it is only intended to make sense to its author and should be read with the proviso that it is in notes and therefore incomplete. Please contact to get context for the various notes.

Open Bibliography Project - exposing bibliographic information as Linked Open Data
Progress-Started, Theme-Library, User-Librarian
Updated Mar 11, 2011 by

NOTE TO PROJECT ON THIS PAGE: This is my informal open notebook page on your project. I'll do my best to keep it up to date, but this is just my personal notes so it will not be pretty! If you see a correction/addition that needs to be made in this page please place edits in the comments section at the bottom of this page and I will change, please do not email me as I will be auto notified by this system. /dff

Project Overview

  • Full Name of Project: Open Bibliography
    • Project Tag: jiscopenbib
  • Project Descriptions (how would you describe this project to your neighbour?):
    • short: Open Bibliography Project - exposing bibliographic information as Linked Open Data
    • long: The Open Bibliography Project will deliver a substantial corpus of bibliographic metadata as Linked Open Data, using existing semantic web tools, standards (RDF, SPARQL), linked data patterns and accepted Open ontologies (FoaF, Bibo, DC, FRBR, etc). The data will be from two sources: traditional library catalogues (Cambridge University Library and the British Library) and ToCs from a scientific publisher, the IUCr. None of the material is currently available as LOD. Key strategies are (i) transformation of current publishers' model to create Open Bibliography as part of their future business, and (ii) the immediate and continuing engagement of the scholarly community. Deliverables include a maintained and growing bibliography on the IUCr site and engagements with other like-minded publishers such as PLoS.
    • problem this solves for what end user?: the researcher will...??? the librarian won't have to...???
  • Project Outputs/Products/Deliverables (what thing are you producing?):
    1. A system for storing bibliographic information in Linked Open Data format (RDF)
    2. A set of bibliographic records from the British Library and Cambridge University Library
    3. Engagement with other publishers interested in Linked Open Data

Project Details

  • Name of Host Institution: University of Cambridge
    • Department: Department of Chemistry, CB2 1EW
  • JISC Programme/Strand: INF11 / jiscEXPO / Library
  • Length of Project: 9 months <-- extended to 12 months.
    • Project Start Date: 14th June 2010
    • Project End Date: 31st July 2011 <-- was extended.
  • Grant Awarded to Project: £77050.00

Project Team

  • Project Director: Peter Murray-Rust,, 01223-763069 Skype: peter.murray.rust
  • Project Manager: Rufus Pollock - Project Manager & Developer
  • Developer:Ben O'Steen - Technical Lead
  • Account Manager:
  • Partners:
    • Consultants:
    • Users:


Open Knowledge Foundation Director = Rufus Pollock, The OKF is a participant and advisor to the project

International Union of Crystallography Managing Editor = Peter Strickland The IUCr will host the repository that results from the Open Bibliography project


Correspondence (below as comments)

Please see below in comments section for any and all correspondance by Programme Manager with the Projects. Also all edits that need to be made to this page please place in comments section and the author will correct.

  • Email, Phone calls, twitters, links sent, etc.

Comment by project member, Jul 19, 2010

from PMR:

07 July 2010 16:34 - Ben, Rufus and I met yesterday to kick off the Open Bibliography project (now tagged as #jiscobib). Things have moved rapidly and positively since we last talked and here is an update.

  • I am Principal Investigator (PI), DaveF is JISC programme manager (JISCPM) and rufus is project manager (PM). Rufus is responsible for making sure the work packages are addressed in an efficient manner and that we measure progress and problems. He will also arrange real-life meetings, dissemination, etc. DaveF will follow our formal output and comment where necessary. I am responsible for liason with formal stakeholders (JISC, University, etc.). So please include Rufus in everything.
  • In addition all three of us (Ben, Rufus and me) will be hacking the bibliographic design, writing code, populating repositories, etc.

In recent developments we are exposing most of our discussions on and lists so I suggest you follow these - the traffic is not too high.

Ben is looking through ca. 8000 acta E downloads and will be working out how to turn your prism+DC into RDF.

As with all of this you are valued partners and if you or colleagues want to post to the lists or join the openbiblio IRC we'd be delighted - but it's not mandatory - we are all very busy.

At some stage Ben will come up with feedback on your data and suggestions.

The Acta metadata is a valuable exemplar for the rest of the scholarly community and you can take credit for this! We will certainly highlight your early adoption of the Open collaboration.

Comment by project member, Jul 27, 2010

From PMR: For those who don't know the OKF has run an open-bibliography list (see and the listinfo ).

Very recently this has been supplemented by a developers' list: (Developer list for those working on open bibliographic tools and data including but not limited to bibliographica, JISCOpenBib etc)

I intend to post many of my own bibliographic questions (and , where I have them , answers) to these lists as in that way we get communal wisdom. I have started doing this on openbiblio-dev.

I think that in the time since we drafted the proposal for JISC a number of positive things have happened and it's clear that the world beyond the participants is interested in #jiscopenbib. I think that the OKF / #jiscopenbib technology will be widely re-usable and it will be valuable for the world to follow what is happening, and where appropriate to participate. I am used to working in very public open projects (e.g. where source code, data, etc. is discussed as it comes up so I am personally more than happy for the project to carry out the bulk of its business in public. And for years the IUCr has carried out its ontology (dictionary) creation in public.

I have been looking at the progress with RDF on these lists and I believe that we have to opportunity to create a de facto approach that a lot of people will find helpful. I also believe there is a role for "citizen bibliographer" - where we show how to use the tools and measure the objective quality of the results. This could lead to a widening of scope for the project where we find early adopters interested in what we are doing and see if they have resources and problems that fit into this infrastructure. There is a huge amount of work to be done but for much of it you don't have to be a trained bibliographer, in the same way as you can become a GalaxyZoo? contributor.

Comment by project member, Jul 30, 2010

PMR/DS: you should feel entirely free to discuss these developments at SciFoo? - I think your "Reclaiming our scholarship" session there is incredibly important and timely, and would be grateful if you would continue to copy me in on any communications concerning it.

I am going to launch "Reclaiming our scholarship" at the Open Science Summit in Berkeley to what - I hope - will be a large and similarly motivated audience. Hopefully that will inform the Scifoo session.

Comment by project member, Jul 30, 2010
Comment by project member, Aug 1, 2010

update: got considerable interest at Open Science Summit #oss2010

Reclaim our scholarship (biblio, citations, usage) PMR (+2) Much of the metadata of scholarship (citations, publications, accesses, usage) is (rightly or wrongly) used as metrics to judge the value of authors and institutions. This metadata is often proprietary, of unknown quality and piecemeal. It should be Open and tools are now becoming available to capture it without the need of third parties. Openness can lead to a new marketplace for innovation in metrics and mashups. There's a growing number of funded and self-help projects to reclaim publication metadata with the vision that this can become laregly automatic and objective.

Comment by project member, Aug 1, 2010

From PMR: By coincidence I was talking at length with Carl Bergstrom (Eigenfactor) last night and he has a wealth of experience in the legal aspects of bibliography and citation.

Comment by project member, Aug 5, 2010

From PMR: met with Rufus today over lunch and meeting with Ben tomorrow. Went to SciFoo?, the following discussions:

  • Mendeley: Jason Hoyt, William Gunn. Wrote to Ian Mulvany about potential to use their bib data.
  • TicTocs?: want to enhance data with author id and other data.
  • Spoke with Carl Berstrum (University of Washington) re licensing implications and risks:

Comment by project member, Aug 5, 2010

to summarise:

  • RP, BOS, PMR meeting tomorrow and will synchronise on technical progress and challenges
  • DF will contact Ian Mulvaney of Mendeley on several things including Openness of Mendeley data, API, etc.
  • DF will contact TICTOCS and confirm state of licence on bibliography (assumed to be GPL currently)
  • PMR will contact Robert Kiley and explore Wellcome's view/knowledge of UKPMC material

Comment by project member, Aug 26, 2010

I can confirm that you can harvest UKPMC metatdata freely – it is the full text content which is restricted, apart from the OA subset. Details are at

Comment by project member, Sep 1, 2010

PMR speaking with J. Jones at UCAR re climate change bibliographies.

Comment by project member, Sep 1, 2010

PMR speaking with Biomedcentral's (BMC) Iain Hrynaszkiewicz

PLoS provided a set of open bibliographic data from there mulgara store (via Russell Uman)

Comment by project member, Sep 1, 2010

Sue Begg - accounts manager knows grant numbers and overall series of budgets and departmental proceedure, also Brian Brooks manages projects.

Comment by project member, Sep 13, 2010
Comment by project member, Sep 13, 2010

PMR alongside OKFN looking to pull in eTheses bibliographies, possible event on Open Theses next April at EURODOC by Daniel Mietchen.

Comment by project member, Sep 24, 2010

PMR at UKPMC Advisory Board will be on Tuesday 5th October at the BL re extracting bibliographic data.

Comment by project member, Oct 5, 2010

PMR talking with IUCr re their bibliography which is "a leading scientific Union in the area of serial and monograph publication".

Comment by project member, Oct 6, 2010

PMR encouraging UKPMC to adopt a set of "open bibliography principles" which the project is currently drafting <--- applicability to A, B, C, D of OpenScholarship? ?

Comment by project member, Oct 8, 2010

from JM to PMR: UKPMC can't declare bibliographic data as Open - it is subject to the terms and conditions of use of the source material.

Comment by project member, Oct 8, 2010

PMR preparing to go to Nature / Philip Campbell to talk open Bib

Comment by project member, Oct 14, 2010

Paraphrased from BO: I recently had a conversation with Naomi Korn (, who is a copyright and IPR specialist, and she verbally confirmed that (in the context of UK law) simple bibliographic facts about a work are not copyrightable. Note that fields such as the abstract and curated subject headings are not considered to be open, but the authors involved, year, issue, journal and so on are. Republication of an article title falls under Fair Dealing in the UK.

However, unlike in the US, creative or artistic aggregations of said facts are enforceable under the Copyright Act - however we both strongly doubted that the selection of content for data? was an artistic or creative act.

Google and other web crawlers are already extracting and reusing the bibliographic metadata made available - we merely wish to clarify licencing so we can use it as well...

Comment by project member, Oct 23, 2010

PMR speaking Guillaume Susbielle, in-house editor of BMC Research Notes and a colleague of Iain Hrynaszkiewicz at BioMed? Central.

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