Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An Introduction to RDF for Librarians

If you have read anything about BIBFRAME, or Linked Data, or the Semantic Web, you have probably heard about Resource Description Framework (RDF). RDF is an important thing to understand, since it relates to the future of bibliographic data; however, it is often presented in a very complex manner. 

I recently came across a blog post by Ruth Kitchin Tillman, the Digital Collections Librarian at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries, titled “An Introduction to RDF for Librarians (of a Metadata Bent)”. I found this post to be a very accessible introduction to the underlying concepts of RDF. Tillman explains how RDF is used to describe resources, what serialization means, with special focus on serializing RDF using Turtle, how RDF is used to link resources together, and how meaning is encoded. She also offers suggestions for continued reading, should you want to learn more about RDF. Overall, in my opinion, this post lays out some very complex topics in clear, understandable language.

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