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January 14, 2009

Resource List Management on the Semantic Web

Via a post by Ivan Herman of the W3C, I came across a W3C case study titled A Linked Open Data Resource List Management Tool for Undergraduate Students, based on work done between Talis and the University of Plymouth.

Andy and I visited Talis, well, I was going to say a few months ago, but it was probably the middle of last year, and Rob Styles, Chris Clarke & other Talisians talked to us a little bit then about this work, but at that point I don't think they had a live system to show.

This looks pretty neat stuff. It's an RDF application, based on the Talis Platform. They make use of a number of existing ontologies (SIOC, BIBO) and have designed a simple ontology for the Reading Lists themselves and also one for the organisational structure of an academic institution, the AIISO ontology - which I imagine may be of interest to other projects working in this area.

Intelligent "bookmarking" tools for adding items to lists use a variety of techniques to extract metadata from Web pages (in a similar way to the Zotero citation manager tool); the metadata is exposed as RDFa in XHTML representations of the lists, which makes it available to systems like Yahoo's SearchMonkey; other RDF formats are available via content negotiation (following the Linked Data/Cool URIs for the Semantic Web principles); and a SPARQL endpoint for the dataset is available (though I'm not sure whether this is public). The system also allows students to provide annotations, which are also stored as RDF data, but in a separate data store from the "primary" reading list data, allowing different access controls.

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Comments

The AIISO ontology is also interesting in the context of extended attribute recommendations within the UK federation to allow finer grained levels of access - we've been having conversations around attributes for organisational structure for sometime so it is good to seem some progress being made. Also good to see the Resource List Management discussions finally coming of age :-)

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