Linked Data Enhanced Publishing for Special Collections


Joachim Neubert

Slides available at SlideShare


In the ambition to publish hidden gems and make unique collections most useful to the world, Linked Open Data is a much valued approach. For institutions with limited resources, it is, however, not easy to get this done. Out-of-the-box solutions are not available, and building an application and implementing the relevant standards from scratch often is prohibitively expensive. Content management systems (CMS) are a viable solution to this dilemma, and in the case of Drupal, one of the most popular CMS nowadays, Semantic Web enrichment is provided as part of the CMS core. In a simple declarative approach, classes and properties from arbitrary vocabularies can be added to Drupal content types and fields, and are turned to Linked Data on the web pages automagically. The embedded RDFa marked-up data can be easily extracted by other applications. This makes the pages part of the emerging Web of Data, and in the same course helps discoverability with the major search engines.

The presentation will demonstrate how custom content types and fields can be added to match the requirements of a particular collection.  It will show how to enhance them semantically with mixed vocabularies, including the search-engine-friendly Exposing the data in a REST-ful application programming interface or as a SPARQL endpoint are additional options provided by Drupal modules.

The presentation will also introduce modules such as Web Taxonomy, which allow linking to thesauri or authority files on the web via simple JSON-based autocomplete lookup, or SPARQL Views as a mighty tool for reaching out to other Linked Data sources. Thus the Web of Data can be made instrumental for local collections, providing context and pulling in content from general resources like Wikipedia or complementary special collections.


Joachim Neubert works as a scientific software developer at the ZBW German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. He published the “STW Thesaurus for Economics” ( and the 20th Century Press Archives ( as Linked Open Data and developed linked data based web services for economics ( As an “invited expert”, he took an active part in the Library Linked Data Incubator Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Currently, while migrating and enhancing the “ZBW Labs” web site ( on Drupal, he is exploring the potential of CMS based LOD publishing.


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