VIAF & ISNI Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) & International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) by Titia van der Werf Tutorial Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 COAR 4th Annual Meeting, Istanbul
Persistent identifiers: basics Identifier properties: • Unique => dependency = system/namespace • Persistent => dependency = organisational commitment Best practice: identifiers should be independent of location/addresses: • In the library: call number & shelf number • On the web: URN & URL
Authority control And many more names… • Collective authors • Pseudonyms • Imaginary characters • Deities, saints, angels • Whales, horses, dinosaurs • Buildings • Ships, telescopes, space ships, missiles • Kings, Popes, Presidents • Cities, lakes, mountains
Authority record = name identifier For each name, the cataloguer assigns a unique term (header) which is used consistently, uniquely, and unambiguouslywithin the library catalogue to describe all references to that same name
National Authority File Programs Participating institutions contribute authority records according to a common set of standards and guidelines. • USA: NACO operated by LC • NL: NTA operated by OCLC • DE: Personennamendatei, PND (incl. in the Gemeinsame Normdatei) – operated by the DNB • FR: Authority Data for Persons – operated by BnF and idRef operated by ABES • etc.
Issues when aggregating different authority files in one system In WorldCat: • duplication of authority control • differences in national/regional authority control practices => No unique and unambiguous referencing => Need to link up the different authority files
VIAF What is VIAF? • Merge of 24+ national level authority files • Cooperative program run by OCLC with the VIAF Council • 29 million authority records • 112 million bibliographic records • Migrated from an OCLC Research project to an OCLC service in 2012
VIAF Authorities in a connected world Beyond the catalogue Towards web-accessible identification of names
From control in library systems to a trusted source in a world of linked data http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/diagrams/lod/2010-color.png
WorldCat Identities A web page for every name
ISNI Founded in 2010 by: • International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), • The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), • International Performers Database Association (IPDA), • ProQuest, • OCLC, • The Conference of European National Librarians.
ISNI • Administred and governed by: ISNI International Agency • Operated by: OCLC (official assignment agency) Approach: • Creating the initial ISNI database • Establishing a system of registration agencies
Populating the ISNI database • Allocation of ISNIs to the vast legacy of identities already managed in separate data silos in different domains of activity throughout the information industry • Base file for ISNI = VIAF (public domain/library data) • Proprietary databases of ISNI-IA members
Populating the ISNI database ISNI stats March 2013 • Total nr of records: 16.4M • Assigned records: 6.4M • Next file to be loaded: ZETOC with 97M bibl. Records
ORCID – VIAF - ISNI • ORCID is an instance of ISNI: targeted to reseachers (ISNI also supports other types of creators) • The base source for ISNI is VIAF • VIAF is an effort on the background to clean-up and link-up all authority files of names maintained by libraries and to make this data available for re-use – eg. for researcher identification.
Syndication/discovery • CRIS/IR and authority control perspectives are researcher/university and library perspectives - not end-user perspectives • How will users find researchers in the places where they search for persons: in Google and social media networks? • How can researcher-ids contribute to discovery on those environments?
Syndication/discovery • Make sure upstream data sources are correct: VIAF feeds into FreeBase and Wikipedia. • Open up the data sources: data sources are mostly closed • Support semantic markup schemes used by Google, Facebook, etc. (schema.org; the open graph protocol...)
Titia van der Werftitia.firstname.lastname@example.org Questions?