Linked Data on historical persons: publishability, interconnectivity and sustainability


We have come a long way since the floppy-drive based datasets researchers would refuse to share. Actually, quite a lot of data is coming out as Linked (Open) Data, but this presents us with new challenges. Specifically for the case of publishing, connecting and sustaining Linked Data on persons we pose five challenges that we would like to discuss with the community, especially now that the problems we face is becoming more widespread, as more and more cultural heritage institutions open up their collections, and digitization initiatives of archives take flight.


The first two challenges concern publishing Linked Data ourselves. The second two issues are relevant once a dataset is published and its existence is advocated in order for others to benefit from it and overcome the challenge of lack of interactivity of Linked Data. We finally address a challenge regarding the sustainability of Linked Data, which is especially related to the fact that Linked Data often comes forth from research projects.

  1. How can we model our datasets in such a way that they integrate well with existing Linked Data? Which are the (preferred) vocabularies or modelling strategies to choose from? And where can these be found and/or published once created?
  2. Where do we make our datasets accessible? Where can we host our Linked Data so that it can be accessed by others interactively?
  3. How can we make others interact and reuse our data on the level of vocabulary, thesauri, or resources?
  4. How can we construct links between datasets generated in research projects, on the level of individual resources?
  5. Where are datasets that are created in the time span of a research project hosted, curated, and kept alive/accessible after the project finishes?

See the full panel abstract for a more detailed description of each challenge.

Panel at DHBenelux 2021, 2-4 June. World Wide Web