COMET sighted in the east

The COMET[1] (Cambridge Open METadata) project aims to release over 2.2 million catalogue records under an Open Data Commons License. This collaboration between Cambridge University Library (CUL), and the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) at the University of Cambridge builds on the previous release of 180,000 records from CUL as part of the JISC funded Open Bibliography Project[2].

The data to be released by COMET includes metadata derived from external sources, such as OCLC WorldCat. Such a step requires careful consideration of what intellectual property, contractual and licensing issues arise when releasing metadata records under an open license. In addition to the guidance already available from the JISC Guide to Open Bibliographic Data[3] and JISC Legal[4], the project has posted detailed information about the 'ownership' of MARC21 records in their catalogue[5].

COMET will publish the records as Linked Data[6] enabling the library records to be linked to other data sources on the Web. Specifically COMET is working with staff at OCLC to link to the FAST and VIAF services dealing with subject terms and name authorities respectively. Project Manager Ed Chamberlain says that while Linked Data may have a high entry-bar it is "a great tool for sharing library data beyond the library community".


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"Linked data... a great tool for sharing library data beyond the library community"