DUCS not LOD
Linked Open Data may sound good and noble, but it’s the wrong way around. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an organization in possession of good Data, must want it Open (and indeed, Linked).
Well, I call bullshit. Most cultural heritage organizations (like most organizations) are terrible at data. And most of those who are good at collecting it, very rarely use it effectively or strategically.
Instead of Linked Open Data (LOD), Keir argues for DUCS:
I propose an alternative anagram, and an alternative order of importance.
- D. Data. Step one, collect the data that is most likely to help you and your organization make better decisions in the future. For example collection breadth, depth, accuracy, completeness, diversity, and relationships between objects and creators.
- U. Utilise. Actually use the data to inform your decisions, and test your hypotheses, within the bounds of your mission.
- C. Context. Provide context for your data, both internally and externally. What’s inside? How is represented? How complete is it? How accurate? How current? How was it gathered?
- S. Share. Now you’re ready to share it! Share it with context. Share it with the communities that are included in it first, follow the cultural heritage strategy of “nothing about me, without me”. Reach out to the relevant students, scholars, teachers, artists, designers, anthropologists, technologists, and whomever could use it. Get behind it and keep it up to date.
I’m against LOD, if it doesn’t follow DUCS first.
If you’re going to do it, do it right.